Google Rolls Back Chrome Browser Update That Broke Web Games And Apps

Doris Richards
May 16, 2018

The tentpole feature in Chrome 66 is a new set of autoplay restrictions aimed at reducing annoying videos that automatically start playing back.

The new autoplay policy was considered a win for users who felt ambushed by noisy video ads and content. Benji Kay, a developer of web games and audio tools, said: "Simply delaying the enacting of this policy doesn't solve any of the major concerns that have been raised".

The autoplay-video blocker is created to fix one of the greatest problems of the Internet: autoplaying videos on websites.

Google product manager John Pallett yesterday responded to a long list of complaints from frustrated web game developers on a Chromium bug report page. As users continue browsing the web, Chrome updates that list as it learns where you play media and where you don't.

Google has made it clear that this is a temporary change and that it has been made to give developers time to change their code. The move was announced in a tweet by Myles Borins, a developer advocate at Google. The latest version of Chrome for Mac, Windows, and Linux has removed the autoplay policy for the Web Audio API.

The policy will be re-applied to the Web Audio API in Chrome 70 (October).

Meanwhile, the implementation delay is created to give "Web Audio API developers (e.g. gaming, audio applications, some RTC features) more time to update their code". This shouldn't affect most audio and videos (included in the audio and video HTML tags), which will continue to be auto-muted, but should ensure the accidentally affected web components are working correctly.

The Chrome team said that the changes will not impact the web browser's new feature of silencing Internet videos and audio that have an autoplay feature.

These challenges relate to how to obtain a gesture from users from different types of web applications.

We are still exploring options to enable great audio experiences for users, and we will post more detailed thoughts on that topic here later.

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