Google earlier this week released Chrome 88, adding capabilities to the browser’s password manager; streamlining permission requests from sites that asked, say, to switch on the microphone; and for enterprises, ending support for an add-on that called up Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) to render old intranet websites and legacy apps.

The Mountain View, Calif. search giant also paid out more than $81,000 in bounties to security researchers who reported some of the 36 vulnerabilities addressed in Chrome 88. One of the bugs was marked “Critical,” Google’s top-most threat level (and resulted in a $30,000 reward to its finder, researcher Rory McNamara). Nine others were tagged as “High,” the second-most-serious ranking. A number of the bounties — 10, including three of those labeled “High” — had not yet been assigned a dollar amount, so Google’s final payout will certainly be higher than the acknowledged total.

Because Chrome updates in the background, most users can finish a refresh by relaunching the browser. To manually update, select “About Google Chrome” from the Help menu under the vertical ellipsis at the upper right; the resulting tab shows that the browser has been updated or displays the download process before presenting a “Relaunch” button. People new to Chrome can download version 88 for Windows, macOS and Linux directly. The Android and iOS browsers can be found in the Google Play and App Store e-markets, respectively.

Google updates Chrome about every six weeks; the previous upgrade was released Nov. 17.

Check passwords inside Chrome

Google drew the most attention to changes to Chrome’s password manager, dedicating a post in the company’s security blog to the improvements. “As we kick off the New Year, we’re excited to announce new updates that will give you even greater control over your passwords,” said Ali Sarraf, a Chrome product manager, in that post.

Chrome, like every other major browser, has long sported a baked-in password manager; Google has used earlier upgrade cycles to brace up that manager, making it equivalent, more or less, to those in rivals Edge (Microsoft) and Firefox (Mozilla).