What’s in the latest Chrome update? More new tab page customization, in-browser Google Drive search

Google on Tuesday rolled out Chrome 78, the latest version of its world-dominant browser, that included patches for 37 security vulnerabilities, new customization options for the new tab page, and search integration with Google Drive.

The Mountain View, Calif. firm paid out $58,500 in bug bounties — up 41% over September’s Chrome 77 — to researchers who reported some of the flaws. Three were ranked “High,” the second-most-serious category in Google’s four-step ratings, but none was tagged as “Critical,” the topmost rating. Two of the three High-ranked vulnerabilities were submitted by Man Yue Mo of Semmle, a San Francisco security company, in return for $35,000 in reward money.

Chrome updates in the background, so most users only need to relaunch the browser to finish the upgrade. To manually update, select “About Google Chrome” from the Help menu under the vertical ellipsis at the upper right; the resulting tab shows that the browser has been updated or displays the download process before presenting a “Relaunch” button. Those who are new to Chrome can download the latest for Windows, macOS and Linux from here.

Google updates Chrome every six to eight weeks. It last upgraded the browser September 10.

New new tab page options

Google continued to make progress in a slow process of, if not overhauling the new tab page, then at least upping the customization quotient.

Chrome 77 introduced backgrounds to the browser, giving users several image collections — landscapes, seascapes, geometric patterns and such — and letting them upload one of their own to fill in the previously plain new tab page. (The image is not like a skin, à la Firefox, but appears only on the new tab page.)