Google’s making an interesting and creative move with its Chrome browser for Android and one that I applaud. Just like the version of Chrome for desktop use, Google is adding a separate beta “channel” for Chrome so that users get can early access to new features and performance improvements while being aware of and/or testing bugs to help stabilize the software and ready it for release.
Google says that there’s new features in the browser, but plenty of bugs and a way to submit feedback to help remedy the issues. There are quite a few perks for those interested in joining the beta channel. The Beta update improves the Octane performance benchmark between 25 and 30 percent so there should be a noticeable performance boost. Chrome for Android beta expands support for HTML5 features like CSS filters for developers.
I love that Google has decided to release a beta version of Chrome for Android because it further closes the gap between the capabilities of a desktop OS and of a mobile one. Mobile browsers have become sophisticated enough to have consumer-ready beta versions, when just a few years ago practically all stable mobile browsers seemed like they were in beta. It’s interesting if you really think about it.
Though it’s called a “channel,” the term is used a bit more loosely here than it is for Chrome for desktop. Chrome for Android beta really just a separate app. You can download Chrome beta from Google Play for free to get beta testing. Feature enthusiasts might want to give it a try too, but prepare yourselves for the decrease in stability.