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March 2, 2013

Chrome for Android Travels in Time

Speaking of Chrome for Android, there's a milestone that needs to be mentioned: it's the first time when the latest stable version of Chrome for Android matches the desktop Chrome.

You've probably noticed that Chrome for Android has always been a few months behind the desktop Chrome and the delay has continually increased. Chrome 18, the previous stable version, corresponds to the desktop version released in March 2012. That's one year of performance improvements, bug fixes, new HTML5 features, new WebKit and V8 releases. It's like using a completely new browser or travelling in time and skipping 6 Chrome versions.


Chrome for Android has a great interface and cutting-edge syncing features, but it was slower than the stock browser, buggy and used a lot of resources. Google addressed some of these issues, so let's hope that Chrome for Android will start to push the boundaries when it comes to speed, without neglecting the constraints of the mobile devices.

"Chrome for Android has been developed in a separate repository as a fork, which means that most of the code will have to be upstreamed," mentioned Peter Beverloo last year, when Chrome for Android was launched. "Of course, bringing a browser to a different - much more limited - platform goes further than simply re-using code. Mobile devices have a lot of limitations compared to desktop and laptop machines. Besides the lower amount of available memory and CPU power, other constraints lie in less memory bandwidth and VRAM on the device's GPU. Google Chrome has a complicated architecture which imposed some interesting challenges here: separating the browser from the renderers through its multiple process architecture, to name an example. Decreased rendering and scrolling performance were also an issue."

{ Image licensed as Creative Commons Attribution by CityGypsy11. }

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