When Chrome was first released for Android almost a year ago, one of my complaints was its lack of support for chrome://flags and access to experimental settings. The day has finally come that this is now a feature of my favorite mobile browser, albeit in its beta form.


The updated browser – which just hit the Play Store a bit ago – brings that feature, and that feature alone. Once you've installed the update, just open a new tab and enter "chrome://flags" into the address bar to access some neat experimental features of the browser, just like on its desktop counterparts. Each option is clearly labeled to which platform it applies to, and only features accessible on Android can be enabled. Just a quick skim through the list revealed things like:

  • Override software rendering list
  • Disable accelerated 2D canvas
  • Disable deferred 2D canvas
  • Disable accelerated CSS animations
  • Composited render layer borders
  • FPS counter
  • GPU accelerated SVG filters
  • Enable WebGL
  • Disable Hyperlink Auditing
  • Show Autofill predictions
  • Enable tab favicon sync
  • Enable sync keystore encryption
  • HTTP Pipelining
  • Enable SPDY/3
  • Disable Media Source API on <video> Elements
  • Enable Experimental JavaScript
  • Disable better session restore
  • Disable 3D software rasterizer
  • Enable experimental WebKit features
  • Enable CSS shaders
  • Disable Website settings UI
  • Enable crashing on GPU hang
  • Enable performance monitoring
  • Enable new Autofill heuristics
  • Enable full history sync

That pretty much covers the bulk of the features that can be toggled in this new menu – but remember, these are all experimental settings. They're not ready for prime time just yet and could possibly cause system instability and things of that nature. If you're cool with that, grab the newest Chrome Beta and go crazy.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • tanknspank

    "If you're cool with that, grab the newest Chrome Beta and go crazy."

    Really? You mean it?

    Aww shucks, thanks Google!

    *applies crazy boxers to head*

  • defred34

    Good. Keep up with it. Keep us posted on every friggin small Google Chrome update now.

    PS: Just so you know, those who have this app already know about the update, so don't spam us with more "Chrome Beta updated bla bla bla" posts. Please.

    • http://www.facebook.com/bella.pease.75 Bella Pease

      Did you come to Androidpolice by mistake, maybe you wanted AndroidDontTalkToMeSoICanCurlAndDieAlone.com?

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Yeah.... no.

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      You seem to be all about the complaining lately. Personal problems?

      • defred34

        Far from it...

    • Wayne Randall

      It's not like they announced the winner of a major sporting event moments after the game, spoiling it for those that didn't get to watch it yet. While it's obivious to those who are on top of it in both instances, this is actually helpful to readers that haven't seen it yet.

    • heat361

      idiot you don't work for them and should have no say in what they could write articles about.

  • Brenden

    The Chrome Beta Channel on Chrome OS (Chromebooks) got a good update today! Multi Monitor Support is an option for Chromebooks now!

  • Sootie

    As I haven't really looked through these before any you recommend Cam? (desktop or phone)

  • MattEden

    Yup. Just installed Chrome beta on my GNex....went fine for a bit...enabled tab syncing...enabled cloud printing...enabled..LISD? Sure. Oh. Random reboot. Well that's certainly odd. Anyone know what that last Google account access LISD is?

    • mgamerz

      Captain obvious here, but you might want to disable that if it keeps rebooting your phone :-)

  • http://twitter.com/mfg68 MFG

    STILL force closing for me the second I open it.

    • John

      Include some more helpful info. Phone/OS vers/ROM/etc

  • Ittiam

    There is still no history menu item right?

    • http://cashd00d.co.cc/ WHAT?

      chrome://history/ works. Bookmark that and you can finally get to your history in the Android version.

      • Ittiam

        thanks.. Will do that...dedicated button would lead to more usage

  • http://www.facebook.com/bella.pease.75 Bella Pease

    You missed the coolest part, from the chrome://flags page you can now easily enable WebGL

  • James Mason

    Still no password sync, not even available through chrome://flags?

  • http://jesuiscontentducontent.tumblr.com/ Yod-b

    So, there's still no permanent desktop mode switcher, right? That is THE function i miss mostly from Chrome, and they just don't seem to add it...

  • 84guy

    can't wait till they make it as smooth as the stock browser, i really dont understand how a browser they work on constantly is worse then the stock jelly bean 6 month old browser :/

    • Stylus_XL

      Chrome Beta is faster and smoother than the stock browser on my S3 now - especially when I have a lot of tabs open. It's become my regular browser. Seems like it's still not playing nice with certain other phones though.

    • http://profiles.google.com/vdogg89 Victor Stuber

      I agree. The stock browser is light years faster than Chrome. The difference is beyond comparable.

  • Juston Li

    Override software rendering list made scrolling smoooooth, even on previously laggy Facebook site.
    Other tweaks I turned on were GPU SVL, WebGL, SPDY and http pipelining.
    No Crash so far, nexus 4

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    It's about time that SPDY could be enabled. That will be really nice on sites that use it.

  • http://www.anivision.org/ Christopher Bailey (Xcom923)

    But still no extensions!!

  • digi_owl

    Sadly no way to make the tabs larger or switch to phone UI on tablets...

  • Brian(aka brianzion) Carr

    chrome://history/ this works to