Google pulling Chrome auto mute functionality after it silenced some web games

Bookkeeping Buzz Five Browser Productivity Tips
     
     
       By Ali

They build on previous work that lets users mute audio in Chrome on a site-by-site basis.

Culling annoying audio and video adverts is a good change towards making web use less frustrating.

The new policy, introduced in April, was created to "intelligently" block unwanted video from playing unless you had either white-listed the site or previously interacted with it.

Not long after web-based game developers began complaining about broken audio in their products, a Chrome product manager said his team was processing the feedback and looking for solutions.

Google has made it clear that this is a temporary change and that it has been made to give developers time to change their code. For some HTML5 games, users could re-enable audio by interacting with the game's canvas via a click-to-play interaction.

Pallett admitted the company could have done a better job of explaining the impact that the change would have on developers who use the Web Audio API.

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Google says the autoplay policy will be reapplied with Chrome 70 in October, giving developers a chance to rework their projects' code to support the new API.

Meanwhile, the implementation delay is created to give "Web Audio API developers (e.g. gaming, audio applications, some RTC features) more time to update their code".

Google has recognized its error and has announced that it will be updating Chrome to temporarily remove the update that broke the games. However, since it was released last month, the policies have negatively affected games and other web experiences.

However, while Google is planning to bring back the policy in October, Pallett noted that Google has yet to solve a "non-trivial user interface challenge with a lot of nuances".

To correct that, Google said Tuesday it's temporarily removing the autoplay policy for the Web Audio API from Chrome 66.

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