Those using Chrome Beta 32 are getting a sweet update today. We normally don’t cover the smaller updates, but this one has brought a few nice features, especially for the Android iteration. This update signals the end of an era, while a new one is welcome.
NPAPI support dropped
NPAPI was created to bring great features to the web, but Google has decided to drop support for the old solution. It has proven to be more burdensome than helpful and there are better solutions nowadays. You can read more about it in our announcement post. The important fact here is that this Chrome Beta version is the first to block NPAPI plug-ins.
Chrome Beta 32 Android improvements
The Android improvements have us very excited because it brings what could be the most important updates to this Chrome version. First, the 300ms delay on Chrome for Android has been removed. This may not sound like much, but you should easily feel the improvement in performance. This won’t work with all sites, though. It’s specifically aimed toward mobile-optimized sites.
This 300 ms delay was applied to allow users to use double-tap-to-zoom. If you tapped twice before that 300 ms mark, you were able to zoom instead of performing other actions. With this gone in mobile-friendly sites, the experience will be much faster and responsive.
The second improvement is actually pretty neat, it’s called Vibration API. This allows developers to provide haptic/vibration feedback from the browser. This could be utilized for browser games as well as any other browser app or website.
Other improvements in Chrome Beta 32
- Animated WebP improves and replaces on GIF images.
- signedInDevices API allows you retrieve a list of the user’s signed-in devices.
- MediaGallery API now supports import of Picasa albums.
- The Identity API now provides events such as sign-in and sign-out.
- Websites in incognito tab can now connect to Apps with user consent.
- chrome.runtime API now optionally provides TLS channel ID to extensions or apps to allow for stronger security.
I have to say I am most excited about the Android improvements. The other upgrades are important as a long-term solution, but these new features really display the power of Chrome in mobile devices. Chrome for mobile didn’t support all the new technologies in Chrome for Desktop. This is changing rapidly and these improvements are a clear testament of it.