Google Brings New Changes to Chrome 94

Including the controversial idle detection

Google officially has released Chrome 94, the latest version of its web browser, adding new features and tweaks to existing elements.

According to Android Police, the new changes include idle detection, an API that notifies the developer when someone is idle, and design changes to Material You on Android 12.

Teen browsing internet

Strauss/Curtis/Getty Images

Idle Detection knows when a user is gone by recognizing the lack of input, like when the keyboard or mouse aren't being used. The feature even can detect whenever a screen is locked, or a user has moved to a different screen.

Google's motivation for this feature is to get more information about when a user is idle and use that data to create better collaborative applications. However, not everyone is happy with this change.

Mozilla web standards lead Tantek Çelik wrote about their displeasure in a post on GitHub. Çelik states that websites can use the API to invade personal privacy and "keep long-term records…" of their users.

Currently, Idle Detection is only on the desktop version of Chrome 94.

Material You is a feature on Google Messages that changes the look and theme of the messaging app. The new update unites the Android 12 design by grabbing colors from a user's phone wallpaper and using those colors across the device.

Woman browsing internet on phone

Oscar Wong/Getty Images

The changes are visible on the tab page, tab switcher, and address bar in the web browser. It’s unknown if Google plans on expanding the design elements elsewhere.

Other new changes include new scheduling APIs for more responsive web apps latency improvements. Chrome 94 will roll out in the coming weeks.

Was this page helpful?