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Google Chrome For Desktop To Get A Speed Boost From Android

Chrome Navigation DG AH 2021
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Google Chrome on desktop platforms could get a speed boost, via a feature pulled straight from the Android variant. That’s based on documentation for Chrome 92, spotted by Windows Latest.

The speed-up — based on “back-forward cache” — will apply to the Google browser on Windows, Linux, and macOS.

What’s back-forward cache and how will it apply a speed boost for desktop Chrome?

Now, the back-forward cache in question is a method utilized on Android to provide an apparent speed boost. That’s specifically when navigating using the back or forward options. In effect, it stores the previous page in the cache so that, when users swipe back or use the menu to go forward again, it loads almost instantly. And it’s been in place on Android since Chrome 87.

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Summarily, that means that the resources used to present and interact with the page are held onto. At least for the most recent pages. And that applies first to the most recent page visited. If a user then navigates “back” using the back-arrow UI, then the page they’re leaving to go back is also cached. That way, pressing forward again will result in a page that loads just as quickly. As described by Google, it keeps the page “alive” and then “reuses it for session history navigation (browser back/forward buttons, history.back(), etc).”

When will you see these instant-loading pages?

Now, Google won’t be performing the standard testing with this feature. Namely, that’s its “Origin Trial” method. Instead, it will be rolling out the feature gradually. And, since this is presently being tested and developed via the Chrome Canary Channel, it should appear around the same time as Chrome 92. At least for the first batch of users.

That means that Chrome 92 will likely be a feature-rich rollout, at least for those users who receive the new back-forward cache. Google is also expected to launch a new URL Omnibox-based hub for sharing with Chrome 92. That’s in addition to several other expected user-facing changes. Potentially making Chrome 92 one of the biggest user-facing feature updates to date.

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