The Android version of the Google Chrome browser was introduced in beta for Android in February 2012 for devices running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (and subsequently, later versions) and was considered ready for prime time by June, supporting ARM processors only. Google introduced support for Intel x86 processors later that year. Chrome for Android includes the ability to synchronize bookmarks and browser history between different devices, which includes Windows, Mac, Chrome OS (Chromebooks, essentially) and mobile devices (predominantly the Android platform). The Android application also supports multiple processor cores, hardware acceleration and access to Google’s proxy server designed to reduce data usage (and consequently, battery consumption). It’s the stock browser on Nexus devices.
We have recently covered a story about how Google Chrome for Android will soon no longer be updated for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, with Chrome 42 being the last version to be compliant with the older version of Android. At the time, the stable Chrome release was version 40; the end of support for Ice Cream Sandwich is now a step closer as Google have announced that Chrome 41 is being released for Android devices and will be available for download over the next few days via the Google Play Store. The Android Chrome Beta application is being updated to 42.
As far as improvements for Chrome 41, Google’s blog explains that the new version will include the ability to reload pages by pulling down at the top of the screen. There are also reputed to be a number of bug fixes and performance enhancements, which is par for the course when it comes to a Google Chrome application update. The Chrome Beta’s update to 42 brings a few new features, including the ability to obtain updates from websites that support notifications. Chrome 42 will also include a simplified way of putting favorite websites on the homescreen and again the ubiquitous “bug fixes and performance improvements,” although for the beta, Google’s blog says that this version includes speedy performance improvements.
There are many competing browsers available on the Google Play Store; Google dropping support for Android Ice Cream Sandwich should allow the development to keep the application running smoothly. Do you use the Chrome browser as your main browser on your Android device and if so, do you also use it on alternative devices too? Or have you switched to a competitor browser? Let us know in the comments below.