Google Rolls Back Some of Chrome 66 AutoPlay Changes After Breaking Things

Somethings things just don’t go as planned and Chrome 66 could fall into that category.  The update to the browser for MacOS, Windows, Android, iOS, and Chrome OS rolled out progressively starting in late April up through last week depending on the platform.  It came with an autoplay blocking feature that would prevent most websites from autoplaying audio and video content.  The problem is, it broke things.

Specifically, multiple reports came to the Chromium team about web games being broken after the update to Chrome 66 as well as some corporate web-based demos.  In response, Google has partially rolled back the feature with plans to reintroduce it later.

Google has changed how the Web Audio API is treated which is widely used by developers for web-based games and demos.

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

To be clear, any audio or video that is in HTML 5 will still be treated to the policy.  It is only apps or games that use the Web Audio API that will be impacted so the reality is, for most users, they won’t see any impact or change unless you were playing web-based games or apps that used the API.

Right now the plan is to reintroduce the blocking in Chrome 70.  That is slated for released August 30, 2018 so it gives developers a window to change their apps so they won’t be impacted by the autoplay blocking feature.

If you are a developer and are impacted by this, visit https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2017/09/autoplay-policy-changes#webaudio to get all the guidelines on what you need to change on your app to make it work after Chrome 70 is released.