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etvfutures.com May 27, 2018


Google rolls back Chrome update breaking web games

17 May 2018, 01:19 | Brandon Parsons

GOOGLEA recent Chrome update is causing issues with sound

Google Chrome

The temporary change removes the autoplay policy from Chrome 66 for the Web Audio API, though the policy remains in effect for projects that use "video" and "audio" HTML tags.

Pallett wrote that this will give developers working with games and audio applications the opportunity to spend more time updating their code.

"The team here is working hard to improve things for users and developers, but in this case we didn't do a good job of communicating the impact of the new autoplay policy to developers", John Pallett wrote in a developer forum on the bug. For that reason, the current Chrome version 66 will no longer automatically mute Web Audio objects.

The "more time for developers" angle is an - ahem - interesting one, because Chrome 66's beta debuted on March 21, 2018 and discussion of its features played out for several months before that date. Yet with an adjustment of such potentially high impact landing in Chrome 66, clearly more communication was needed. The company said it plans to reintroduce the change with Chrome 70, which is set to debut in October, and that developers should have worked around it by then.

Body clock disruptions linked to mood disorders
It was also associated with decreased happiness and health satisfaction, and a higher risk of reporting loneliness. Greater disease risks arising from this disruption have been identified in the brain, pancreas and stress systems.


Google has partially rolled back Chrome's blocking of autoplaying video with sound after it was found to break a large collection of web apps and games. Developer Benji Kay, who specializes in audio tools and games for the web, explained that postponing the policy will not fix the many issues that have appeared. Developers of browser games collectively called out Google for the change, and they responded.

Google says it is "still exploring options to enable great audio experiences for users", so it may come up with an alternative solution in the future. Some feel that Google is restricting the spirit of a free and open web buy forcing their standards on the world's most popular browser.

However, while Google is planning to bring back the policy in October, Pallett noted that Google has yet to solve a "non-trivial user interface challenge with a lot of nuances". As users continue browsing the web, Chrome updates that list as it learns where you play media and where you don't.

"I believe Chrome could find a policy which accommodates developers while still protecting the principle users should explicitly authorize websites to play sound", developer Andi McClure writes in the Chromium thread.



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