ibusinesslines.com August 19, 2018

Google Reverts Chrome Desktop In Wake Of Developer Uproar

17 May 2018, 01:23 | Jodi Jackson

Google Fixes Issue That Broke Millions of Web-Based Games in Chrome

Mobile phone games

Google has tweaked a new autoplay policy in Chrome 66 that was aimed at silencing most unwanted noisy video ads but also broke sound in a bunch of web games.

The policy will be re-applied to the Web Audio API in the Chrome 70 release this October. Content contained in HTML5's video and audio tags will still be silenced, though, limiting the impact of auto-playing audio on what Pallett says is "most media playback" around the Web (which was the original intent of the Chrome auto-play policy).

Google's Chrome team recently said that it has updated the mobile web browser to temporarily put on hold the autoplay policy for the apps, games, and RTC features using the Web Audio API.

Pallet admitted, "We didn't do a good job of communicating the impact of the new autoplay policy to developers using the Web Audio API".

The most recent update, Chrome 66, pauses audio on browser media objects, meant to silence irritating adverts. "As others have pointed out, this is a non-trivial user interface challenge with a lot of nuances", Chromium developer John Pallett said in the post announcing this change. "If you are honest in your claim that the side effects of the policy were unintended and unwanted, you should commit-in clear, straightforward language-to finding other alternatives which do not break vast swathes of cultural work that was developed and distributed on the open web".

This should restore sound to sites affected by the new auto-mute feature.

Developers who use the Web Audio API quickly complained to Google about the change. For that reason, the current Chrome version 66 will no longer automatically mute Web Audio objects.

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

Google's auto mute system learns from user behavior to mute audio on sites where they don't want it, and maintain it on sites where they do.

Have you come across any such unintended consequences on Chrome?

Unfortunately, older games and those that weren't coded with such policy remained irrevocably broken, no matter what Chrome options users tried to modify in their settings sections.

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