Google has been hyping its new autoplay-blocking feature for months. But it turns out the feature isn’t quite ready for primetime.
The search giant has quietly disabled Chrome’s autoplay-blocking feature for videos using the Web Audio API, which includes many online games.
Previously, Chrome would, by default, mute websites that autoplayed videos with sound. It was meant to do away with annoying ads and popups.
Unfortunately, it was also getting in the way of some web games and multimedia projects, and was blocking users from receiving some sound-based notifications, such as incoming calls.
“We’ve updated Chrome 66 to temporarily remove the autoplay policy for the Web Audio API,” wrote Google Product Manager John Pallett on a Chrome bug report page (spotted by The Verge), in response to a number of user and developer complaints. “This change does not affect most media playback on the web, as the autoplay policy will remain in effect for <video> and <audio>. We’re doing this to give Web Audio API developers (e.g. gaming, audio applications, some RTC features) more time to update their code.”
That said, Google plans to bring the policy back in October, according to Pallett. So developers have some time to make their programs compatible with Google’s new policy — but the clock is ticking.