Google Chrome 61 Beta Includes Web Share, WebUSB, Payment Request APIs

This week Google announced that the beta version of Chrome 61 will support a number of new APIs. The Payment Request API is an API standard from the W3C that Google integrated back in May. The API provides a process layer which enables purchases from third-party websites within Chrome in an effort to make payment checkouts easier. Originally appearing on Android last year, this release of Chrome ensures that the Payment Request API will now be available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and ChromeOS.

Also appearing in the new beta is the Web Share API. This API lets web users control how and where data is shared, and allows websites to invoke the host Platform’s native sharing capabilities. One of the big capabilities allowed by this is the sharing of content across social networks. In the past developers have had to manually add sharing buttons onto their site for the various networks. This ran the risk of missing out on a social service that a visitor may use or, if the developer added too many buttons, causing the site to become bloated and exposed to security risks from using third-party software. When invoked the API opens the native Android share dialog allowing users to share data with other native apps that have been installed on their phone.

Lastly, Chrome 61 introduces support for the WebUSB API which allows web apps to interact with peripherals such as a keyboard, mouse or printer when given consent by the user. In the past non-standardized USB devices required potentially unsafe native drivers and SDKs for developers to work with them. This API on the other hand promises to let hardware vendors build cross-platform JavaScript SDKs for their devices which in turn leverage the security of the web.

Be sure to read the next Browsers article: In Other API Economy News: Browser Updates from Apple, Mozilla and More