Google’s Chrome Beta browser for Android not only gains some new features but also some speed. Version 32 of the mobile browser became available on Thursday. Android device owners can install and run the app without worrying it will take the place of the default Chrome browser on their phone or tablet; both browser apps can peacefully co-exist. Why run the beta version? For starters, it removes a delay that takes place after every screen tap in the browser.
Chrome was designed with a 300 millisecond pause after each tap. The browser is waiting to see if a second tap will take place, and if so, zoom in on the web page. With Chrome Beta for Android version 32, double-tap zooming is gone and so too is the delay.
That should speed up mobile websites, says Google in its post announcing the new features: “Now mobile-friendly sites that are already formatted to automatically fit in the page width will receive click events instantly and can respond to user input more quickly.” Developers of web apps can now take advantage of a new Vibration API supported by the Chrome Beta app. Think of haptic feedback and vibration for web buttons or in games on Chrome.
Chrome beta 32 on the desktop also gets some new features: Support for animated WebP images is also included in the software. These are like animated GIFs but take up fewer space, Google says; the example image it provides is 57 percent smaller which in turn means a faster web experience due to downloading fewer bits. Google is also blocking Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface, or NPAPI plug-ins with this beta version of Chrome. That was expected at some point as Google said it would the same on the desktop version of Chrome at year-end.