A feature that many Google Chrome users would have long been waiting for is going to arrive with the popular browser’s next update. Chrome 73 will be the first version of Google’s web browser that will have official support for multimedia keys that users have on laptop and desktop keyboards. The support will initially be rolled out for Chrome OS, macOS, and Windows. It will arrive for Linux at a later date which has not yet been confirmed.
The official support for multimedia keys means that users will be able to control videos and music that is playing in the browser right from the keyboard itself. It was possible to get this functionality with third-party apps but Chrome 73 will eliminate the need for them.
The initial support will be for “play,” “pause,” “previous track,” “seek forward,” and “seek backward” keys. The key presses are going to be supported at the browser level and not at the tab level which means that the buttons can be used to control media playback even if the browser is minimized in the background. The update brings the Media Session API as well which will enable developers to customize interactions for multimedia keys.
This functionality is currently available in the beta and Chrome Canary distributions of Chrome 73 and is going to be released in the stable distribution next month. This will make Chrome the first browser to have support for multimedia keys.