Chrome 89 Beta Enables WebHID By Default, Other New Web APIs
Written by Michael Larabel in Google on 29 January 2021 at 12:00 AM EST. 18 Comments
GOOGLE --
Following last week's release of Google Chrome 88, the Chrome 89 beta is now available for testing.

There is a lot of new additions with the Chrome 89 beta, particularly around new web APIs and other notable additions for web developers to begin making use of. Chrome 89 beta highlights include:

- WebHID has previously been available in Chrome as an origin trial but is now enabled by default on the desktop. WebHID API support that allows for implementing device-specific logic within JavaScript for handling HID input devices where there is no system device driver available. WebHID is intended for devices too new, too old, or too uncommon to be supported by the operating system level drivers that functionality could be implemented within JavaScript. The main motivator of WebHID has been around supporting gamepads better within browsers.

- Web NFC has been promoted for reading/writing NFC (Near Field Communications) tags. This is initially enabled for Chrome 89 on Android.

- Web Serial API support for allowing interfacing with micro-controllers, 3D printers, and other devices over a serial interface. This allows for the direct communication between the web browser and the device/peripheral.

- Web sharing on the desktop support has now arrived for Windows and ChromeOS, complementing the earlier Android support. There isn't yet any Linux support.

- Chrome 85 added AV1-based AVIF image decode support on the desktop while now there is support for AVIF in Chrome on Android and WebView with the 89 milestone.

- Chrome 89 beta brings an AV1 encoder for the WebRTC use-case. The AV1 encoder in use is based on the libaom code.

More details on this sizable Chrome 89 beta update via Thursday's announcement on the Chromium.org blog. More information on the Chrome 89 features can be found at ChromeStatus.com.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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