Chrome 70 is available and allows users to opt out of automatic data syncing

WTF?! Google still thinks everyone should sync their personal data to their cloud servers and has not made it very easy for the average user to disable this feature. Chrome 70 was supposed to fix this problem, but requires users to specifically opt out of the practice.

Beginning in Chrome 69, Google started automatically signing users in whenever they signed in to a Google service. This causes user data to be uploaded to Google’s cloud storage so users can sync bookmarks, saved passwords, browsing history, and other personal data across devices.

Today’s release of Chrome 70 puts this practice to an end. Well, sort of. Google forces you to specifically opt out of automatic sign-in instead of just disabling it by default. Deep inside the settings menu, there is an option called “Allow Chrome sign-in” that must be toggled off to prevent this undesirable behavior.

Getting past that annoyance that Google has created, there are some interesting new features. For starters, clearing cookies will now actually delete all of your cookies instead of leaving Google’s own behind. As seen in the Chrome 70 beta, biometric web authentication makes it simple for websites to allow fingerprint sign-on in Chrome or use other methods such as facial recognition on supported devices.

One of the biggest changes is the introduction of Progressive Web Apps on Windows. Instead of displaying an address bar and a few tabs, PWAs have their own window free of any unnecessary clutter and are effectively full desktop applications running inside of a Chrome wrapper. Instead of having Universal Windows Platform apps, Google is pushing for Chrome PWAs which can be pinned to the start menu and run nearly the same as more traditional apps.

Lastly, Google has also finally gotten around to adding support for the AV1 video codec. This replacement for VP9 provides significantly better compression for the same image quality.

Download Chrome 70 for yourself to see all of the new changes.

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