Google has released a new Chrome beta channel for phones and tablets running Android 4.0 or up. This is a significant release by Google as it is trying to bring Chrome for Android in line with the much loved Desktop version of the browser.

In a blog post, Google announced that the beta channel for phones and tablets now joins their beta versions of Chrome for Mac, Windows, Linux and Chrome OS.  Google says that bugs are to be expected in the version, since that is the point of the beta release. The up side to a rough, slightly sluggish app is that users will be able to preview and try out the latest features on the Chrome app.

Beta Channel now available

Beta Channel now available

Google has promised to push out periodic updates to the beta version and will be keeping a close eye on the bugs reported by users. What is even better is that users can install the Beta version of Chrome for Android side by side with the current version of Chrome for Android.

Google says that Chrome for Android is already starting to benefit from all the speed, security and other improvements that are already a part of Chrome’s other platforms. In this beta update, Google says that it has improved the Octane performance benchmark on average by 25-30 percent. Some more interesting features like HTML5 based CSS filters have been incorporated too. Chrome 25 on Android brings a slew of updates and improvements over our current Chrome 18 based stable channel, including better HTML5 support and JavaScript performance. “This is just one step of many towards bringing beautiful experiences to the mobile web,” reads the blogpost.

Google has listed down the larger known issues in a blog post:

  • Performance is sluggish, noticeably on Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S
  • Frequent freeze on devices with specific versions of Qualcomm GPU driver
  • Text autosizing may break formatting on some sites
  • 164632 – Editing bookmark feature is broken
  • 165244 – Text position handler jumps or disappears when moving
  • 163439 – Clicking on links in not navigating on Nexus 7
  • 166233 – Unable to submit comments on Facebook posts in desktop version of Facebook
  • 165244 – Text handler jumps or disappears when moving
  • 167351 – Youtube video controls are lost after returning from fullscreen video mode
  • 162486 – iframe scrolling broken

Google last released an update for Android and iOS in November, incorporating a few bug fixes in the update. The iOS update incorporated major changes that included ability to open PDFs in other apps, automatic detection of text encoding as well as stability and security improvements. It also added the ability to support boarding passes and tickets using the passbook feature.

The Android update release note was brief and pertaining to only bug fixes back in November, but this beta version release is bound to improve the quality of Chrome for Android massively.

Since it is a beta version, it will not be available via search on the Google Play Store. You can download version 25.0.1364.8 using this link here.

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