Update: Chrome for Android may also get a big upgrade, with the latest version of Canary revealing a dialog that confirm if you want to close all your tabs.
Chrome is still the most popular web browser on the internet, and Google developers aren’t slowing down, especially in the face of increased competition from Microsoft Edge and Mozilla’s Firefox. For Chrome users who were considering switching, Chrome is about to get a little faster and a lot less memory intensive.
In a chrome blog post, Yana Yushkina, Product Manager for the Chrome Browser, unveiled an increase in search speed when searching through the omnibox. For those who don’t know, the omnibox is the bar at the top of the Chrome browser for entering website addresses and search queries. She also clarified that Chrome will also use less memory and that the team has fixed an issue regarding a common crash bug.
“Searching in Chrome is now even faster because search results are prefetched if a suggested query is highly likely to be selected,” Yushkina said. “This means you see search results faster because they were pulled from the web server before you even selected the query.”
According to Yushkina, search results will appear in less than 500 milliseconds.
This will only work if users set Google search as their default search engine. However, it will be possible for other search developers to integrate this fast functionality, such as those who prefer Bing, Yahoo or DuckDuckGo.
Along with faster omnibox searches and a new update that will help online shoppers, Chrome will also use less memory.
“Chrome OS shows a total memory footprint reduction of 15% in addition to a 20% reduction in browser process memory, improving the Chromebook browsing experience for single and multiple tabs,” Yushkina said. .
Finally, Yushkina detailed a common stop hang and how the team solved it. Essentially, years ago, the Chrome development team added a local cache that would help the browser start up faster. The team has since discovered that this adds increased complexity on some operating systems, consuming more memory and causing crashes. It also did very little to increase speed. The Chrome dev team went ahead and removed the cache, solving an upper stop deadlock.
“It was a great illustration of the principle that caching isn’t always the answer!” said Youchkina.