The cool thing about rocking the beta version of a product is getting to experience all the shiny new things before anyone else, and the new tab page currently in the works for the Android version of Google Chrome is the kind of alluring update that makes doing so oh-so-tempting. It reduces the amount of clutter at the top of the screen, places search front and center, lists most visited websites in a single scrollable row, and provides prominent buttons for accessing bookmarks and synced devices at the bottom of the page.
If you're in the habit of using the fancy-pants Chrome Beta to get access to the newest features for your browser of choice, try this handy zoom gesture out. On any desktop page, double-tap anywhere, and on the second tap keep your finger on the screen. Then slide your finger up and down for a quick and easy zoom. It works the same way that the "pinch to zoom" function does, but with a single finger.
Big things are in the pipeline for the Android version of Chrome, and those big things are coming soon to the beta version. This is the biggest update I've seen on Chome for Android, so let's break down what's new in Chrome 30 Beta.
Ever notice how the gestures in Chrome for Android kind of, well, suck? Now they don't. Hopefully. The janky edge-swipe to change tabs has been replaced by a much more natural gesture - simply swipe left or right inside the URL bar area up top, no need to grab an edge.
Following the release of beta features to Chrome stable yesterday, the beta channel of Chrome for Android was promoted to version 28 today.
The update brings a number of desired additions and improvements, all of which I will break down for you below. Here's the relatively incomplete list the Chrome team posted on its blog:
Well guys, after lots of wishing/hoping/praying, fullscreen is finally available on Chrome for Android. The phone-specific feature made its way into Chrome 27 – which currently just hit the beta channel – alongside a few other useful features:
The Chrome Team is happy to announce the promotion of Chrome 27 to the Beta channel for Android. Chrome 27.0.1453.49 contains a number of great new updates including:
- Fullscreen on phones - Scroll down the page and the toolbar will disappear.
The recent Chrome Beta for Android update was notable for including password and form sync, but it turns out there is another feature lurking beneath the surface, and it's potentially a big deal. Google has built in a data compression proxy for Chrome that can reduce bandwidth usage by up to 50% on mobile networks. You'll have to do a little digging through the Chrome flags, but it's relatively easy to switch to the fast lane.
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.