Two new features are coming to Chrome for Android today, but they'll be old news if you have been running the beta of Chrome on your device. Bandwidth management and homescreen web shortcuts are both graduating from beta status, and will be showing up in the new version of stable Chrome.


When the update arrives, users will be prompted to enable bandwidth management, which uses Google's servers to compress website data on mobile. A large part of the savings are achieved by swapping out big images with the smaller WebP format. The shortcuts are accessible in the settings menu and will work for any site as a regular shortcut. Sites that implement the proper web app protocol will appear as full-screen interfaces with a spot in the app switcher.

This will be the first update to Chrome stable since November when it rolls out. Google says that should happen over the next few days.

[Chrome Blog]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • Nick

    Odds on them fixing the overall lag in Chrome? 1:500 or 1:1000 ?
    But thank god they got those new features added in.

    • http://dabuxian.com/ Dabu

      The team behind Blink (engine that Chrome is running on) actually announced recently that their biggest goal right now is to make it perform better on mobile devices. So I'd say odds are bigger than that. It already improved A LOT on desktop since switching from Webkit.

      • Jeffery Keel

        Yeah I saw this on Reddit the other day. They plan to improve Chrome in a lot of areas with Blink. Also which build are you using that uses Blink? I'd be interested in giving it a shot.

        • http://dabuxian.com/ Dabu

          I believe it's in stable now. But I'm not sure, I use beta personally.

        • http://my.opera.com/rafaelluik Rafael Luik

          All Chrome 28 and up and Chromium-based browsers like Opera already use Blink.

      • pfmiller

        Where did you see this announcement?

      • Nick

        I hope they pull that off. It desperately needs it.

    • Simon Belmont

      I dunno. Chrome has been pretty lag free for me in KitKat on my Nexus 5.

      It's probably still not QUITE as buttery smooth as the AOSP browser, but it's getting really close, IMO. They've made big strides in the last few builds.

      • Justin W

        It's just those left on the GNex that really complain though...

        IMO, Chrome has been lag-free on my Moto X, and I've had no issues with it on my Nexus 7 either.

        • Simon Belmont

          Same. Actually, I've been pleased with it on my 2012 Nexus 7 for quite a while as well. ;)

          Funnily enough, I used Chrome on my G'Nex before I got my Nexus 5 and the more recent versions were quite smooth for me (not quite as smooth as the AOSP browser, but totally useable and non-frustrating for me, at least). I guess to each his/her own. :)

          • pfmiller

            It's smooth on the gnex up until it force closes from running out of memory or you need to switch to another app.

      • Nick

        Of course not, it's got the Snapdragon 800. Try using it on anything that doesn't. Chrome on my 2012 Nexus 7 is basically unusable because it is so laggy.

        • Drago

          For what it's worth, it works fine on my 2012 Nexus 7. Hardly any lag, especially since Android 4.4.

          Everyone's mileage varies, though. Cheers.

        • Simon Belmont

          Hmm. I wonder if that's related to you having one of those 16GB NAND units that was a laggy POS after a while?

          I use Chrome on my N7 (2012) and it's been fast, especially for the last few versions or so. It has a stutter occasionally, but nothing like Chrome used to be. My wife uses it on her HTC One that has a Snapdragon 600 and it's smooth. She's happy with it, too.

      • meijin3

        I've had no problems with my Nexus 4.

      • whispy_snippet

        They have. It's at a point where the benefits of Chrome far outweigh the negatives. In terms of lag and fluidity it's excellent on my 2013 N7 and incredible on my N5.

        All Google need to do is properly stomp out the tab refresh issue.

  • nawa
    • Blendi Krasniqi

      Yes. Just tested it.

  • Drifter2410

    That moment when you wait for the Android Police APK download. :P

    • Supookeed8087

      мʏ ғʀιɛɴɖ'ѕ мօтнɛʀ-ιɴ-ʟαա мαĸɛѕ $87 нօυʀʟʏ օɴ тнɛ ʟαքтօք. ѕнɛ нαѕ вɛɛɴ օυт օғ α ʝօв ғօʀ 7 мօɴтнѕ вυт ʟαѕт мօɴтн нɛʀ քαʏ աαѕ $2077з ʝυѕт աօʀĸιɴɢ օɴ тнɛ ʟαքтօք ғօʀ α ғɛա нօυʀѕ. ʟɛαʀɴ тнιѕ нɛʀɛ ɴօա http://makesupto60dollarsperhour&#46qr&#46net/nHBl

    • Barry Lance Leo
      • Drifter2410

        Is that the signed apk Barry? :)

        • coolscrotie

          it woudln't install over chrome if it wasn't

          • Drifter2410

            Yeah. I guess.

      • whispy_snippet

        Talk to us Barry!

      • Drifter2410

        Thanks Barry. It worked. :)

  • http://androidandme.com/ Taylor Wimberly

    Safe Browsing was also included.

  • jnffarrell1

    Re:swapping out bigger images. Lossless compression ships the same info in a way that reduces the number of bits needed to transmit and store the image. Faster decompression techniques allow your device to present video that formerly took 30Mbits/sec to stream in 15Mbits/sec. All that has changed is that inferior encoding has been replaced by a superior, faster and better service.

  • saul

    Does this mean that the website will still load their original content? For example, no missing parts or pictures or reshaped pages ?

    • dreadfall

      Yes. the images and contents are just compressed but quality remains the same

  • ash

    Well it seems odd but I have never used beta on my mobile for chrome. And this bandwidth saving was there . When I formatted my mobile and update chrome to 31 version it was not there. I searched it alot because it was missing. Don't know how this happened. I am sure I didn't enabled it forcefully from flags menu.

    • ash

      I mean it was there in stable version 31 for me.

      • Justin W

        The only option for bandwidth management prior to this in the stable channel was to preload webpages, and it defaulted to Wi-Fi only.

        • ash

          No as I said it looks really odd but it was there for me on stable version 31. I have also seen this graph. But now its gone after re-installation. It's really wierd for me also. I am damn sure it was there.

          • mac

            Any news about you tube update which I received today?

          • mac

            It's version 5.3.32

        • Niels

          I still see only this option. Perhaps the option is location-based?

  • Stacey Liu

    Bandwidth management, if enabled, thwarts ad-blocking.

    • NotMyAdblock



    • xdapao3

      I was looking for some more technical infos on this feature to decide whether to enable it or not but if this is true then my search stops here: Bandwidth management - OFF.

    • Ken Hunter

      Whoa, where did all these ads just come from? Instant off.

  • fjleon

    bandwidth features has been available since november, and i am not a beta tester. somehow this feature was available from day one on my nexus 5

  • Adrian

    + new Google trojan :D

  • truth

    and it's ability to display correctly sized fonts on non mobile pages and ability to word wrap/reflow.. still non existent? just ignore that... after all you need your free stuff

  • whispy_snippet

    Great news! I'll no longer need to use beta as my daily driver.

  • http://www.LOVEanon.org/ Michael Oghia (Ogie)


  • cm

    I'm not a fan of the new "New Tab" screen. I found that you can revert to the old version by going to chrome://flags/ and setting the "Enable the new NTP" option to "Disabled".