While the desktop version of Chrome has been working on adding more features, the mobile version tends to focus more on refining features and fixing bugs, in the hopes of making a mobile experience that can match its desktop counterpart. In a blog post put up on Google's official Chrome blog by none other than the Proud Papa of Playbacks, Renganathan Ramamoorthy, we're given a tour of how Chrome's update to version 52 on the mobile side will help bring that desktop-quality experience just a bit closer, mainly through improvements to video playback.
While mobile video is a scene that's still growing, it's quite a huge scene. There are a number of reasons people may not turn to apps, such as allegations that the official Facebook app can slow a device down, or a small amount of storage space. Rather than having a number of apps on their devices, some opt to simply use their mobile device the same way they would use their computer - through the browser. These users are accessing sites like Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook in record numbers. Some are even using Chrome's "Request Desktop Site" option to get the full, demanding experience, or to access some sites that would normally block mobile users. It's exactly this trend that Google has decided to address with the Chrome 52 update, improving playback speed, smoothness and battery consumption.
In a video demonstrating the changes, Google shows off near-instant and stutter-free video playback in Chrome, with another frame hosting a playback session on an older Chrome version for comparison. While the older version buffers for a bit after the video is supposed to start, the newer version does all the buffering before the video comes into view, and it does it very fast, resulting in near-instant playback. There is no jitter of any sort to speak of, either. Thanks to the same under the hood tweaks making this all happen, battery life while playing video is supposedly much better. On top of all of that, mobile videos are now compatible with Chrome's Data Saver mode, allowing users to save up to 50% of the data they would normally use for a video by opting to receive a more pared-down video file.