Newsletter: Google Rolls Back Update & WhatsApp’s New Group Messaging Features

Newsletter: Google Rolls Back Update & WhatsApp’s New Group Messaging Features


Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe. – Albert Einstein



Recently, an update was released by Google in Chrome 66, which stopped videos from autoplaying and audio in many web games. But, after facing criticism, Google is now rolling back the update.


With effect from April, Chrome’s autoplay policies were updated to make user experience better and to reduce data consumption as well. In which, on many sites videos will autoplay, but with the latest update, Chrome will also mute the sound in them. This update is good for the ongoing and marketing ads. But, on the other side, it has also broken many web-based and browser-based games, which lacks sound in them.

To autoplay video and audio, sites should have a high score on Chrome’s ‘Media Engagement Index’, which shows how many times user visits that site and watches videos.


Unfortunately, this change wasn’t a good one for many users, and as a result it faced criticism. To correct it, now Google is rolling back this update for the time being.

Regarding the roll back, John Pallet, Google’s Product Manager posted on a developer forum,

“Thank you everyone for the examples, they were helpful to our investigation. We’ve updated Chrome 66 to temporarily remove the autoplay policy for the Web Audio API. This change does not affect most media playback on the web, as the autoplay policy will remain in effect for <video> and <audio>.”

He also added, “We’re doing this to give Web Audio API developers (e.g. gaming, audio applications, some RTC features) more time to update their code. The team here is working hard to improve things for users and developers, but in this case, we didn’t do a good job of communicating the impact of the new autoplay policy to developers using the Web Audio API”.

Mr. Pallet also posted that the policy will be re-applied to the Web Audio API in Chrome 70 in October this year.



WhatsApp in its latest update, added some features to streamline and manage group chats more easily both for iOS and Android users.


Now that groups have become more important part of WhatsApp, Facebook has been working on it for a while. And, regarding to which WhatsApp in its update is coming with the following features to make group messaging a much better experience:

  • Group Description: Now, a short info will be found under group, which allows to set the purpose or topics for the group. As soon as the new member joins, he/she will be able to view the description at the top of the chat.
  • Admin Controls: From group settings, admins can now take control of who can change the group’s subject, icon, and description.
  • Group Catch up: Now, user can also quickly catch up on messages that mention or reply to you, in case you’ve been away from group chat. This can be done by tapping on a new @ button that appears at the bottom right corner of the chat.
  • Participant Search: User from the group info can find anyone by directly searching for participants.

WhatsApp along with these, also has introduced the feature where group admins will be able to remove admin permissions of other group participants, and will also be able to set admin controls. With an add-on to same, group creators also can no longer be removed from the group they created.


This update was released after WhatsApp announced the feature of new group video calling at the Facebook F8 conference last month.

The company at the F8 said,

“Voice and video calling are very popular on WhatsApp, and we’re excited to share that group calling will be coming in the months ahead. Stickers are also coming to WhatsApp soon”.

WhatsApp is likely to come out with the group video calling feature anytime soon. This release of update is definitely a first step to climb the ladder.

Anuj is a content writer for Systweak and being from an engineering background, likes to get more in-depth with technology and gadgets. He likes playing video games and reading in his free time.

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