Chrome for Android is expected to start aligning with desktop releases of the browser by "early next year," according to a post by the Chrome team on Google+.

Q. Chrome for Android is still at v18, while regular Chrome is at v23. When will Chrome for Android catch up?

A. Soon! We expect an update to Chrome for Android starting with a developer update to happen before the end of the year, and we’re actively working towards aligning releases across all platforms, including Android, starting early next year. 

(emphasis ours)

So, what does this mean? At some point next year, Google is going to begin the process of aligning Chrome releases across all platforms, meaning the guts in each platform's respective release will be more similar, and features across platforms will vary less. Note that I didn't say "won't vary at all" - don't expect Flash support to spontaneously return to Android any time soon just because Flash is built into the desktop version of Chrome. But plugins for the Android version would be nice, Google. Work on that.

As you may have also noticed, Google is promising a new developer build of Chrome for Android by the end of the year, though it isn't clear how far that will go in "catching up" to the desktop version.


David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • youareme7

    I might start using chrome for android again once they support extensions. Using a browser without LastPass built in is just a non-starter for me anymore. I'll be sticking with the faster dolphin until such time.

    • http://twitter.com/louiedog louiedog

      I wonder how LastPass would handle things if the mobile Chrome supported desktop Chrome extensions considering the desktop browser plugins don't require a paid account.

  • Ali Abidrahmani

    Other than plugins,performance improvement will be very appreciated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1312291338 Tim Miller

    I don't give a crap if it ever supports extensions in Android so long as they resolve the glaring performance issues.

    • John

      Exactly. I love the old stock ICS browser b/c it's just so freaking quick/fluid. I love what Chrome has to offer with syncing and all, but I prefer performance over anything else.

    • Sean Lumly

      I agree -- Performance is what needs the most attention beyond and should be prioritized above added features.

    • yarrellray

      Thank God for Samsung putting it's own stock browser on the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2. The chrome browser isn't ready for prime time yet that's for sure.

  • Garry DeWitt

    Excellent, now when are they going to make chrome on android not a laggy piece of [redacted]? I love the features, and use it as my main browser over the stock android one in 4.0.4, but jesus tons of sites are slow as hell to load and scrolling is laggy, where on the stock browser they're fine and fluid. I want all of chrome's features with the speed of the default browser, google!

  • Swapnil Chitnis

    WOW! Imagine this: Chrome extensions and games on Android and Chromebooks with Android compatibility. So Android will be a desktop + phone + tablet OS. WIN!

    • RitishOemraw

      Let me redirect you to this quote:
      "By next year, we will not be here talking about Google+ Games, Chrome Web Store games, Games for Native Client and Android games, we will be talking about Google games.
      " ~PUNIT SONI

      2013 is looking good for me (given that is also the year Ill upgrade to the next nexus phone, passed on the N4, still happy with my Gnex)

    • http://twitter.com/Gnabergasher Gabernasher


      It might take time, but 4 years can be the charm, lots of talk of touch screen chrome books as of late too.

  • http://pctonic.net/ Ashutosh Mishra

    I guess we'll see some major performance improvements in mobile Chrome starting next year. It lags behind Mobile Safari and Dolphin (with Jetpack) in raw performance.

  • gladgura

    I am just waiting for Chrome on Android to have all the Extensions and Chrome apps like the desktop version does.

  • coversnails

    The most glaring thing for me is that Chrome for iOS is already at v21, rather odd that Google can provide a more updated version to a rival platform before the one it actually makes!

  • br_hermon

    I just want Chrome to get Quick Controls. Will we ever see that?

  • JonJJon

    I hope Chrome for Android never gets extensions/plugins to the extent of say the desktop version, or at all. It will inevitably slow it down and reduce performance to something frustrating to use.

    • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

      Just don't install them.

  • marcusmaximus04

    "Google is going to begin the process of aligning Chrome releases across all platforms"

    I think you misinterpreted that statement. They said they're "actively working"(present tense), not that they will start actively working. In other words, right now they're working towards the goal of making it true that chrome has the same version across platforms, which they expect to be the case starting early next year.

    • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

      Nitpicking. The most important fact to take away from this: all Chrome releases will align next year.

  • Sean Lumly

    I exclusively use Boat Browser, specifically because of the touch responsiveness and despite having far lower HTML5 compliance than Chrome for Android. I'm all for the additional JS performance, and draw performance that the latest releases of Chrome bring to Android, but IMO user-facing performance optimizations (eg. scrolling, pinching, input lag, UI-thread blocking) are what need the most attention.

  • http://twitter.com/sterpazook Alexander

    Why Crome for iOS does autoinput passwords which are already saved in accout (by desktop version) and Chrome for Android does not?

  • Simon Gillespie
  • Mhmz

    I'd like to know why people are complaining about chrome on Android on my note 2 nothing even comes close to chromes speed. While I'd like flash sure. I can't best the speed with Samsung a built in nor with dolphin nor ff nor ninesky not even opera though opera is very nice for a couple of tabs when you get going on a lot the tab switch is horrible. I frequently have over 100 tabs open in chrome ":)" and it still moves faster than any other browser let alone when I have well over 200 tabs. Come on people.

    • Mhmz

      Missed ie... 16 tabs max wtf??

  • Mhmz

    So right now I have 604 chrome tabs open and it's still fluid as silk and faster than any other browser with one or a hand full of tabs open. Yeah so I don't see the speed problem people are reporting. Perhaps you all should remove and reinstall