Google rolls back Chrome update breaking web games

16 May, 2018, 21:29 | Author: Sammy Rose
  • Mobile phone games

To correct that, Google said Tuesday it's temporarily removing the autoplay policy for the Web Audio API from Chrome 66.

Chrome version 66 introduced new rules which would automatically mute autoplaying ads and videos that tend to be quite annoying and often end up pushing users to ad blockers which is not good for both Google and its publishers.

But the update also broke a series of apps, games and interactive art in the process, preventing them from playing audio for alerts and other elements, and causing complaints from developers and users of these interactive web apps. They build on previous work that lets users mute audio in Chrome on a site-by-site basis.

Have you come across any such unintended consequences on Chrome? 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 using the Web Audio API. This demonstrated to Google that many Chrome users have absolutely no use for videos that begin unannounced and unwanted, and consequently, the search giant has addressed the issue. Earlier this year, Google began blocking adverts from websites it deemed to have too many. Affected developers will have until then to add a few lines to their code, thus re-enabling the auto-muted audio when a user first interacts with the page.

The autoplay-video blocker is created to fix one of the greatest problems of the Internet: autoplaying videos on websites. Google now plans on re-introducing the restrictions in Chrome 70, but the Chrome team is looking into other options as well.

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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".

Still, the auto-muting update still appliesto audio and video HTML tags.

Ultimately, the new policy will block around 50 percent of autoplay videos that you want nothing to do with, which should cut down on the noisiness of your browser quite significantly.

Google offered no timeframe on when it might again enable the audio blocking capability of Chrome.

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

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