2013-01-26 09.16.00
January 26, 2013

Get Experimental With Chrome Beta

Those who feel like getting experimental with their mobile browser have some new geekiness to play with in the newest update to Chrome Beta for Android.

This latest version of Chrome Beta offers a substantial amount of customization options. To access them, type in “chrome://flags” into the browser’s omnibox. You will need to scroll through the list to find options that will work on mobile, as it also includes configuration for the desktop version. This indicates Google is looking to unify the browser’s features and performance on the desktop and mobile.

So what kind of geeky goodies are there?

One option is “full history sync,” which allows for complete viewing of one’s browsing history across devices. There is also support for WebGL, which supports 3D and 2D graphics without the need for a plugin. So far my favorite seems inconsequential, but I like it anyway: cross-syncing of tab favicons.

Such Chrome features won’t be coming to Chrome on iOS, however. Third-party browsers on Apple’s mobile devices are required to use an older version JavaScript engine, giving Safari a superior speed engine. Plus, Google can hit the “publish” button as often as it wants to on Android instead of waiting for Apple to approve every change on iOS.

These new features are released in Chrome Beta for Android version 25.0.1364.47 (Google is infamous for very long version numbers). It has only been one week since the last update; Google clearly is planning on a rapid iteration schedule.

Note that Chrome and Chrome Beta are separate applications, so you can download and use both on your Android device. The beta is still a little rough, but the bugs are worth it to explore the new features.

Image credit: Derek Walter

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