Google’s team working for Chrome has temporarily pulled back a feature introduced to the web browser last month as it was found out that the update alsomuted audio playback of several HTML 5 web games and art works as well. That feature was launched as part of the Chrome 66 update and it was meant to automatically disable sound on auto-playing videos by default. However, the feature is switched on by default and it was impossible for gamers to turn the audio on for an affected game unless players disable the feature in question.
John Pallet, a product manager atGoogle, said in the Chromium forum site that Chrome 66 just received another update meant to cancel the autoplay policy for the Web Audio API for the meantime, although he added that the change won’t affect many web-based media playback since the autoplay feature will stay in place for <video> and <audio> HTML tags. Pallet also announced that the temporary withdrawal of the autoplay policy will take effect until October only after the feature will go live again on the Web Audio API as part of an upcoming version of Google’s web browser, Chrome 70, which is set for release during that month. Until then, Google is giving Web Audio API developers enough period to revise their code accordingly.
It is important to remember that Chrome 66 was released in April with the goal of preventing unwanted autoplay videos for all users as part of Google’s new policy intended for the web browser. The update was useful for users who don’t like auto-playing videos and find it cumbersome to have to mute videos as they start playing. What was initially intended as a feature designed to improve the browsing experience of users turned out to be a bug for gamers. It’s a good thing, nevertheless, that Google has now suspended the update until October at the very least. In addition to automatically disabling sound on auto-playing videos, Chrome 66 also introduced a wide range of performance improvements, bug fixes, and major additions such as a dedicated API for intercepting key presses on desktops and limited Site Isolation trials, among others. It remains to be seen what features the upcoming version of Chrome will bring to the table later this year.