Google scaled back a new auto-play policy in the latest version of its Chrome web browser, intended to stop unwanted video ads with sound from serving up and playing without notice. The new feature, however, also stopped a large collection of web apps and games from operating correctly.
The blocking feature, announced in January, aimed to remove loud, sudden and unwanted videos from the web, which automatically played when a browser launched -- and also stopped a series of apps and games from playing audio for alerts and other elements. Developers and users, however, complained.
On Tuesday, Google released a Chrome update that temporarily fixed the problem. "We’ve updated Chrome 66 to temporarily remove the auto-play policy for the Web," wrote Google Chrome Engineer Abdul Syed in a blog post, publishing a list of changes.
In the Chrome forum, John Pallett explained how Google updated the latest version to “temporarily remove the autoplay policy for the Web Audio API,” writing that the change does not affect most media playback on the web, as the autoplay policy will remain in effect for video and audio.
Pallett wrote that this will give developers working with games and audio applications the opportunity to spend more time updating 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 auto-play policy to developers using the Web Audio API,” he wrote.
Those who feel they endure the annoying video ads that play automatically in a browser when a page launches will need to wait a bit longer. Google plans to reinstate the policy in Chrome 70 when it’s released in October.