Today, Google is rolling out a brand new beta for those using the Google Chrome Beta channel on Android. It’s Chrome 47 (and should make its way to the stable channel in a few weeks). The update is available in the Play Store right now. With today’s update, Google is adding splash screens for Android web apps. Which is something we’ve started seeing make a comeback with Google native apps on Android, one prime example is the new Google Play Store and the Google Play Music app on Android. Developers can use splash screens when their web apps are launched from an icon saved on the users home screen. Splash screens are meant as a placebo effect. As apps – both native and web – can take a few seconds to load up. And showing a splash screen makes it seem like it’s loading up faster, when it’s the same speed. Which is why we’re seeing them come back in native apps.
This new beta of Chrome also brings in some improved push notifications for desktop users. According to Google, push notifications can take up screen space that aren’t really useful. And sites like email and social media can generate a lot of these push notifications. With this new version of Chrome, developers are able to configure automatic dismissal of desktop notifications. This improves the user experience for these notifications.
In Chrome 47 Beta, Google has also added some new options for developers to take advantage of to improve performance of their apps in Chrome. Basically the app is allowed to run during “idle time”, as resources aren’t being used for other tasks. Making it easier and faster for these apps to open up and load up what is needed.
Now this is a beta version, so expect bugs. Google is rolling out this update to both desktop and mobile users. So if you’re using Chrome on Mac OS X, Linux, Chrome OS, Windows or Android, you should be able to use Chrome 47 Beta. If there are no major bugs reported we will see this version make its way to the stable version in a few weeks. Which is pretty exciting, as there are some great changes in this version.