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Google pauses upcoming Chrome and Chrome OS releases

In a slew of updates released on Wednesday, Google says that the upcoming Chrome and Chrome OS releases have been paused for the moment “due to adjusted work schedules”.

The announcement comes two days after Chrome Beta 81 (81.0.4044.66) for Android was released.

“Our primary objectives are to ensure they continue to be stable, secure and work reliably for anyone who depends on them. We’ll continue to prioritise any updates related to security, which will be included in Chrome 80,” Google announced.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused a majority of the companies in affected areas, including as a precautionary measure, to switch to remote working conditions, which has affected their workflow.

Several tech events, including Mobile World Congress 2020, Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference 2020 and Apple’s WWDC 2020, among others, were cancelled and replaced with online events in the latter two cases.

Facebook, Microsoft and Unity also backed out of Game Developers Conference 2020, which was scheduled to be held between March 16-20, 2020. Although the GDC 2020 organisers stayed adamant on holding the event citing use of precautionary measures, they later rescheduled the event to August 3, 2020, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco and held a part of their event — GDC 2020 Talk and Awards — on Twitch during this week.

Google has also rolled out an update to its Advanced Protection program, which will now have Play Protect always on and limits the number of third-party apps from outside the Play Store that can be loaded onto devices.

Following the update, Advanced Protection will ensure that Google Play Protect, which scans apps for malware and other threats on the Android Play Store, will be automatically switched on — and will remain enabled — on all devices that have a Google account enrolled in the Advanced Protection program. The update will also block a majority of apps that aren’t available on Play Store from being installed on a device with Advanced Protection-enrolled Google account.

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