There are some neat things coming to Chrome in the future, and if you'd like to test them out before everyone else, you're probably already using either the Beta or the Dev version of the Android app. Keep an eye on the former: it's getting some of said features right now. The most interesting addition in version 53 is a new API for quickly checking out on mobile online purchases. It's sort of like the streamlined payment options already offered by PayPal and Visa, but it works with any payment system and it's built into the browser. Check it out in the video below:

Of course this kind of functionality requires websites to explicitly support it, and that isn't likely to happen in the short term. If it's going to pick up, Google needs to aggressively promote the future to web retailers - perhaps some integration with the paid Google Shopping service is in order.

The other big user-facing change is that Chrome for Android Beta 53 will enable auto-playing videos, so long as they're muted at the beginning of playback. For videos that conform to the autoplay attribute, those videos can begin playback as soon as they enter the user's window and field of vision, but only if the sound is muted by default. (Obviously a UI element can turn the sound back up with purposeful user interaction.) This change is less encouraging - it seems ripe for advertiser abuse, for one - but I can see how some designers would be able to use it legitimately.

Other changes in this version of the beta app include support for Shadow DOM V1 (a formatting tool that keeps elements from adversely affecting other parts of a page), notification icon support for individual pages on Android 6.0 and higher, and a host of other small changes mostly of interest to web designers and developers. You can check out the full changelog here (note that not everything from the wider Chrome development branch is applicable to mobile).

Chrome Beta 53 is available on APK Mirror right now, and it should be rolling out in the Play Store to at least some users.

Chrome Beta
Chrome Beta
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free