Chrome 86 Beta Enables Native File-System API By Default, WebCodecs Added
Written by Michael Larabel in Google on 3 September 2020 at 06:50 PM EDT. 18 Comments
Building off the recent release of Chrome 85, Google has now released the beta of Chrome 86 with a number of goodies introduced and promotions for some existing functionality.

Chrome 86 Beta is out today and among the changes with this release include:

- The Native File System API has been promoted out of the original trial. The Native File System API allows for "powerful web apps that interact with files on the user's local device" without having to keep interacting with the file chooser when it comes to managing files between your local system and the web-site. The Native File System API is intended for the likes of web-based integrated development editors, photo/video editors, text editors, and more that can be granted access by the users to read/save changes directly to files/folders on the user's device. More details on this API here.

- Chrome 86 is further deprecating FTP support. With Chrome 86 the FTP support is still enabled by default for most users but is turned off for pre-release channels and experimentally turned off for a small subset of users. The feature for now can be re-eanbled with the "--enable-ftp" command-line option. In forthcoming releases FTP support will be disabled for more users and then completely disabled in Chrome 88.

- The initial WebCodecs is in place for Chrome 86. This is for letting web applications encode/decode audio/video. WebCodecs will likely be of much use moving forward by cloud gaming, livestreaming, and multimedia web apps. Details on the WebCodecs draft via the spec.

- The WebHID API is available for supporting too new / too old / too uncommon HID interface devices directly by the browser. The WebAPI allows supporting human interface devices via device-specific logic within JavaScript. WebHID is geared to be particularly useful for gamepad support but should help other HID devices as well. WebHID on Chrome will be an origin trial until early 2021.

- Also as a origin trial are new screen information APIs in an effort to better support cross-screen window placement and allow for "compelling multi-screen experiences."

- A new "battery-savings" meta tag that allows a site to recommend measures for the user agent to try to conserve battery life / CPU usage. This can allow a site via the battery-savings meta-tag to hint at reducing the frame-rate, allowing the generic slowdown of script execution, or other features in the future to help reduce battery usage / CPU usage.

More details on the Chrome 86 beta changes via the blog and
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