Chrome is about to load web pages a lot faster than you’ve experienced up until now. A new compression algorithm called Brotli will help making this possible. Google introduced Brotli last September, with it Chrome will be able to compress data up to 26% more than its existing compression engine, Zopfli, which is an impressive jump.
According to Google’s web performance engineer Ilya Grigorik, Brotli is ready to roll out, so Chrome users should expect to see a bump in load times once the next version of Chrome is released in the coming days or weeks.
Google also says Brotli will help mobile Chrome users experience “lower data transfer fees and reduced battery use.” The company is hailing Brotli as “a new data format” that Google hopes will be adopted by other web browsers in the near future.
Firefox seemingly next in line to adopt it. But for now, expect to notice your web pages loading a bit faster in the coming weeks.
It looks like Chrome has finally implemented a very useful beta feature for all users: It now shows a small speaker icon next to whichever tab is playing sound. While this may not seem like a big deal, it is for tab junkies (ahem) who become quickly frustrated when they can’t figure out which tab is blaring an American Idol ad.
The icon looks like this:
This simple feature doesn’t go as far as the Chrome extension MuteTab, which lets you select one or multiple tabs to, well, mute. A Firefox extension, Muter, also lets you mute tabs in the browser. However, those extensions don’t solve the specific problem of finding a tab that is playing audio. Chrome just fixed that for you.
Google has announced the new Chromebook Pixel, confirming the rumors that were circulating in the past month or so. Unlike all the previous Chromebooks, the Chromebook Pixel is made by Google themselves and is a high-end laptop with high-end specs and has a high-end price tag of $1,299 to go with them.
For starters, the Chromebook Pixel has a 12.85-inch, ultra high resolution 2,560 x 1,700 display. Google says it is the highest resolution display ever to be put in a laptop. What they mean, however, is that it has the highest pixel density of 239 ppi. The 13 and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display in comparison have a pixel density of 227 and 220 respectively, although the latter has a higher, 2,880 x 1,800 resolution display.
Two interesting aspects about this display are that it has an unconventional 3:2 aspect ratio, which is designed to give you more vertical screen real estate to facilitate web browsing. The second thing is that the display is actually a touchscreen, a first for a Chromebook. The panel also uses a Corning Gorilla Glass for protection.
Google also has gone to great lengths to give the Chromebook Pixel the level of polish and attention to detail appropriate for a high-end device. The body is made out of anodized aluminum. The ventilation grilles are hidden, as are the screws and the stereo speakers, which are placed underneath the backlit keyboard. The glass trackpad has been etched using a laser microscope to give it that desired level of friction.
In terms of hardware, the Chromebook Pixel runs on a dual-core 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 processor with integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 32GB/64GB SSD, dual-band WiFi 802.11a/b/g/n 2×2, Bluetooth 3.0, LTE (optional), 2 x USB 2.0 ports, Mini DisplayPort, SD card slot, 720p HD camera with three microphones for noise cancellation and 59 Wh battery with 5 hours of active use.
The Chromebook Pixel will be sold in two models. The standard model will set you back by $1,299/£1,049 whereas the LTE model will set you back by $1,449 (US only). You get 1TB Google Drive cloud storage for three year along with 12 free sessions of GoGo Inflight Internet with both models. On the LTE model, you also get 100 MB/month for 2 years of mobile broadband from Verizon Wireless.
The Chromebook Pixel is now on sale in US and UK on the Google Play Store and will soon be available on BestBuy.com.
Google Chrome has quickly grown to become the world’s most popular browser on desktop, and its growth on mobile devices seems almost equally fast – the browser arrived on Ice Cream Sandwich not too long ago with an awesome interface, and now it’s made its way to the iPhone and iPad on the App Store.
Available for free and sporting the same gorgeous interface, Chrome climbed to the top of the free app ranking on the iTunes in mere hours.
We’re not surprised – after all the browser has some killer features apart from the looks as it comes with full syncing between accounts across devices. All the tabs you have opened along with your history and bookmarks get synced so if you left a website on a desktop, you can pick up where you left off on the mobile version.
Google Chrome vs Safari speed test on iPhone :
I’m not going to claim that the following speed test is anything close to scientific, but it will give you a decent idea as to what to expect from Google Chrome.
So, who won our speed test? Check inside for the details…
Note: As stated, there is nothing scientific about this test. Google Chrome was installed on an iPhone 4S using iOS 5.1.1, and Safari was ran on an iPhone 4 running iOS 6 beta 2. Granted, you’re going to expect the scales to tip a bit in Google Chrome’s favor due to the completely optimized iOS install, and the faster hardware. Even still, this test will give you a good indication that Google Chrome isn’t exactly a tortoise when it comes to speed. In real world usage, I found it more than adequate. Judge for yourselves.
What do you think? Is Google Chrome the downright slowpoke that everyone makes it out to be?
Update: For those crying foul, here is a video showing the reverse scenario. i.e. Chrome on the iPhone 4, and Safari on the iPhone 4S.
The point of these videos isn’t to show one browser blow another out of the water, it’s just to show that Chrome is entirely usable from a real world perspective.
The release of Google’s Chrome Beta for Android is a huge milestone – not just because Chrome has been growing in popularity at an astonishing rate, but also because it brings a sense of unification between your personal computer and mobile device. Actually, that’s one of the best features of the Chrome Beta release – being able to almost instantly have the tabs you have last worked on your computer on your mobile device.
But as important as the Chrome release is for Android (ICS to be perfectly precise), will we ever see it arrive on iOS?
“It’s a tough question for us,” Google SVP of Chrome Sundar Pichai told MG Siegler of TechCrunch.
So overall, it seems that it’s not yet certain whether Chrome will be brought to Apple’s platform. Even if it is – it won’t be the exact same browser you see on ICS, but rather a kind of a repainted Safari. And that’s not a bad thing if you look at the awesome UI of Chrome now, is it?