Google Updates Chrome Beta With Support For External MIDI Keyboards And A New Permissions API

Chances are you’ve seen a few web-based virtual instruments that use the Web Audio API. Now, assuming developers support this, you’ll be able to use your MIDI-compatible keyboard to play these with the help of the latest beta version of Chrome. Google today released this update with support for the Web MIDI API, an upcoming standard for connecting keyboards to the browser.

I don’t think the browser is going to replace anybody’s favorite digital audio workstation anytime soon, but this sure makes for a fun demo and may just provide an incentive for developers to work with the Web Audio API.

The other big new feature here is a new Permissions API. Right now, when you land on a site that needs your location, Chrome immediately pops up a little request at the top of the browser window, even though you may not even really know what the site is all about. Now, developers will be able to query and observe changes to the permission status. This way, Google says, “they can ask for permission in context, improving the user experience.”

Chrome Beta 43 also includes a new way for developers to mix secure HTTPS requests and insecure connections on their legacy sites. “Transitioning large collections of unmodifiable legacy web content to encrypted, authenticated HTTPS connections can be challenging, as the content frequently includes links to insecure resources, triggering mixed content warnings,” the Chrome team notes today. This new feature automatically upgrades insecure requests to a secure alternative before the browser starts downloading them. This way, the user stays safe and doesn’t see a mixed content warning.

You can find the full changelog of today’s update here.