A dedicated app typically provides a better experience than a mobile site, but there are still plenty of instances where we end up inside the Android version of Chrome. Heck, that's one of the major benefits of owning a smartphone—the entire web is accessible to you throughout most of the day.
Koush makes a lot of neat Android apps like Helium Backup and AllCast, but what's next? It's a thing called Vysor that will let you easily control your phone from Chrome. An early beta of the app is available in the Chrome web store, and it's already surprisingly solid for something that isn't even done yet. Read More
Want to see something new in Chrome for Android? Aside from essentially unlimited websites, of course. If so, and if you're using Android 5.0, 5.1, or the 6.0 preview, then download either the Beta or Dev version of the browser. Then go into the Settings menu and disable "merge tabs and apps." Now, go back to the main browser window, open the hamburger menu, and tap "new tab." Wey-hey, you've got a new interface to check out.
Left: new tab in Chrome. Right: new tab in Chrome Beta/Dev after disabling merged tabs.
The new standard swaps out the frequently-visited website thumbnails you're probably familiar with for icons, which are simply letters with some fancy background formatting. Read More
Buried in the flags of the latest release of Chrome Dev, v46, is a toggle that allows you to tweak the progress bar animation that you see when loading webpages. The default setting is equivalent to "disabled," but you can try it out and see how it looks.
There are now 4 different options: disabled (which is default), linear, smooth, and fast start. Disabled just leaves things the way they have been for a while. Fast start is like smoother but is set to work faster in the first portion of the page load and slower as it completes.
Smooth, as you might expect, is basically the default animation but at a higher framerate that will look more appealing. Read More
The Android Chrome beta channel got v44 in early June, and now it's time for that version to filter down to the stable app. You should get the new version in the coming days via the Play Store, but we've also got the app on APK Mirror for the more impatient among you. Read More
The latest release of Chrome Beta doesn't include many big, user-facing changes, but is instead mostly filled with incremental improvements to long-term development goals. The one goodie for end users that you may notice in normal use is the newly-added ability for websites to give you an Android notification with play and pause buttons to control audio.
For websites using up-to-date APIs, audio and video that is over 5 seconds long will result in a notification being displayed for easier control. I think of this somewhat similarly to the desktop version's indicator for noisy tabs. Read More
When an app reaches 1 billion installs on the Play Store, it's like being officially recognized as one of the cool kids. Chrome for Android is the latest to join the clique, sliding through the door just a week behind Hangouts, making it the 12th app to flash a 10-digit install base.
While induction into this elite group hasn't been quite as impressive since membership hit the double digits, Chrome is among the first of Google's apps that doesn't owe all of its success to pre-installs. The first beta release of Chrome came in early 2012 and only supported Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Read More
Back in Chrome v39, we got a look at a reader mode not unlike many other mobile browsers such as Firefox. However, it didn't even leave Chrome Beta before getting hidden in the flags menu. Features that were not originally in flags but later moved there tend not to come back. Well, the latest Chrome Dev, v45, features a revamped version of reader mode. Now, on pages the browser decides could benefit from it, it gives a prompt that says "make page mobile-friendly." Tapping on that brings the user to a slightly redesigned reader view, though it isn't described as such anywhere. Read More
The fine engineers at Google have been hard at work with some cool new features to both the WebView package and Chrome for Android. Recent updates to the Chromium project have extended Contextual Search to tablets, and there is now partial support for the new text selection features introduced with Android M. Even the T-Rex easter egg game got a little bit better.
Contextual Search for tablets
If you've tried selecting text in Chrome on a phone recently, you've probably noticed a cool little popup at the bottom of the screen that acts as a shortcut to search for the selected term. Read More