File Under: Browsers, Mobile

Preview Coming for Chrome for Android With New Beta Channel

Chrome for Android beta channel. Image: Scott Gilbertson

Want to be the first on your block to get new features for Chrome for Android? Google has a new beta channel release available just for you.

Starting today, you can install a beta channel release of Chrome for Android on any device running Android 4.0 or better. Note that it appears that you need to follow that link to get the beta channel release. Searching in the Google Play Store did not show the beta channel. The beta channel can be installed alongside the normal release channel.

The current release for the beta channel is Chrome 25, which is a significant update for the mobile version of Chrome, adding support for the new CSS Flexible Box Model syntax, dynamic viewport units (useful for responsive designs) and CSS calc(). The Android version of Chrome also gets the same updated IndexDB and CSS Filters support we looked at in the desktop release.

The beta channel release should also be a bit faster. The Chromium blog claims that improvements to the V8 JavaScript engine give the browser a 25 to 30 percent improvement on Google’s Octane benchmark tests.

The beta channel for Android offers some new tricks in Chrome’s developer tools, notably “big improvements in measuring your mobile performance with the Timeline’s frames mode.” Google also says it’s easier to navigate and edit your active scripts in the revamped Sources panel.

For more details on everything that’s new in the beta channel of Chrome for Android be sure to read through the Chromium blog’s announcement.