Update Wednesday continues with yet another new apk. This time we're being treated to a regular version bump for Chrome Beta. The changelog isn't as dramatic as we've seen in previous updates to the browser, but it's hard to turn down improvements and bug fixes. The focus seems to be a little more on fine-tuning the experience as we should see smarter suggestions for text entry and improved text rendering on non-mobile optimized web sites.
Google has been buffing up the capabilities of the Chromecast as of late by opening up app access with the SDK, and it looks like even first-party apps are getting in on the action. The latest release of the beta version of Chrome for Android adds in Chromecast capability for YouTube videos. Theoretically, it should work for any standard HTML5 video as well. Now you don't need a laptop to cast web videos to your television.
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.
Well, that was fast – the beta channel of Chrome for Android just became a thing four days ago, and the browser has already received its first update. Granted, it's just a bunch of bug fixes, but it's still something.
This bumps the browser up to v25.0.1364.33 and fixes the following issues:
- 164632 - Edit Bookmark is broken
- 167351 - Youtube video controls are lost after returning from fullscreen
- 167016 - Some Samsung Galaxy S2 freezes
- 168062 - Double tapping on non-zoomable sites scrolls the page to the top briefly before returning to original position
- 167379 - Sometimes tabswitcher is frozen
- 166998 - Tab content stretched out while returning to it through side swipe gesture
- 168632 - Crash - Stack Signature: TabAndroidImpl::FromWebContents
- 168388 - Sync signed in info text's font size is too small
- 168430 - Bookmark star icon doesn't turn grey/white immediately after bookmarking URL /deleting URL from bookmarks
Of course, it's still beta, and that can only mean one thing: there area still plenty more bugs to squash.
Ready to try the latest version of Chrome for Android, but don't want to wait for the updates to hit the stable channel? No worries – Google just released an official beta channel for Chrome for Android. This new channel should "release early and release often" according to the Chrome blog, so you'll always have the latest build smokin' out of Google's servers.
Of course, "beta" comes at a cost – sometimes it's at the cost of stability, sometimes it's at the cost of borked features.