The latest stable version of Google's browser, Chrome 41, features a large number of updates and new capabilities for Android devices. Among them: support for syncing Web pages across multiple devices, voice search and intuitive gestures to make it easier to go from tab to tab by swiping sideways on the toolbar. Google says that Chrome 41 also enables faster browsing, better Web page translation and more efficient mobile data usage.
Released on Wednesday, the new version of the browser comes with lots of bug fixes and updates for Android 5.0 Lollipop, according to Google. Another new feature, Incognito mode, is designed to help users protect their privacy by letting them browse without their history being saved.
Google on Friday also announced a new beta version of its browser, Chrome 42. The Beta Channel release supports, with a user's permission, native push notifications from Web sites even if the Web page has been closed. It also comes with "several new features that allow developers to create more immersive Web applications," according to Google software engineers John Mellor and Michael van Ouwerkerk.
4.2 out of 5 Stars
First released by Google in 2008, Chrome has seen fast-growing adoption, especially as Web browsing has become an increasingly mobile activity. By last June, use of Chrome in the U.S. surpassed that of Microsoft's Internet Explorer, the one-time browsing leader.
As of midday Friday, the Chrome Browser page in the Google Play store showed the latest version had been downloaded and installed by nearly 2.8 million users. Reviewers gave Chrome 42 an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars, with almost 1.8 million awarding it a full 5 stars.
Comments on the new Chrome's performance, however, ranged widely. "The Google Chrome mobile version is cool....It's fast and simple," wrote one reviewer, while another praised the browser for being "super fast and intuitive." Some users, though, complained of freezing, crashing and other performance problems: "A few steps backwards," wrote one reviewer. Another commented, "This is the slowest browser I have ever used."
Meanwhile, Chrome 42 -- the beta version of the browser released Friday -- promises a number of new features for the next stable release from Google.
In addition to the beta version's new support for push notifications, Chrome 42 lets Android users easily add favorite Web sites to their home screen shortcuts with just one tap. Not all sites will immediately be able to take advantage of that feature, though, wrote Mellor and van Ouwerkerk.
"The criteria will evolve over time based on feedback from users and developers, but today they require sites to provide a Web App Manifest, serve all content using HTTPS, and at least partially work offline using a service worker," they noted.
Google released its first four Android apps for Chrome OS last September, and has promised more to provide Chrome users with a more Android-like, interactive experience.
Posted: 2015-03-16 @ 8:00pm PT
@garyZ: so which browser do you use for the web? I do not like installing apps on my mobile device. I expect sites to make proper HTML5 apps so that my experience is seamless on the desktop and on mobile, no matter whether I am using an Android, Apple, Windows, or whatever device.
Posted: 2015-03-14 @ 12:41pm PT
Google Chrome crashes constantly. Firefox also crashes constantly. I have been using apps such as Reuters, AP, CNN, MSN and several other apps because Chrome and Firefox are so bad.
Posted: 2015-03-14 @ 10:52am PT
Oh, good, I guess. I took Chrome off of Kitkat 4.4 because of freezing. Maybe they got the message?