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Chrome 56 for Android adds new download features, performance improvements, more


Released last week for Mac, Windows, and PC, Chrome 56 is beginning to rollout for Android. This update includes a number of underlying performance improvements and some new minor features centered around the ‘New Tab’ page.

The first item underneath the grid of site favicons is now a new ‘Downloads’ section that provides quick access to pages saved for offline viewing. A few of the most recent entries are there with a ‘More’ button taking users to the full list. Additionally, long pressing on any article suggestion reveals a new menu option to quickly save that link.

Lastly, ‘Touch to Search’ receives a slight visual revamp that allows users to more quickly open the just launched search page as its own tab.

Under the hood, Chrome has a received a number of tweaks that improve performance. A new reload behavior means that page refreshes are 28% faster with less power consumption and bandwidth savings.

Optimizations to the rendering pipeline has Chrome making smarter decisions and skipping redundant tasks. The time needed to paint a new frame has been reduced by 35%. Additionally, the browser is more intelligent about optimizing the workload for the hardware it’s running on. Chrome 56 is also better at utilizing GPU acceleration for complex content rendering with improvements to animation performance, input latency, and scroll smoothness.

Other features include the Web Bluetooth API that allows web apps on Android, Chrome OS, and Mac to communicate with nearby Bluetooth Low Energy devices.

Chrome 56 for Android is rolling out now via the Play Store, with a full rollout in a few days.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: