Chrome For Android Next Week

Google will be ready to release the first Chrome version for Android with the release of Ice Cream Sandwich next week.

The desktop version of the browser is making big steps as well, adding pipelining support for yet another round of performance improvements as well as UI changes that now include a content settings tab and finishing touches for its profiles support.
The much anticipated version of Chrome for Android is likely to debut on October 19, as one of the major improvements in the OS release. While the key focus is expected on much lower hardware requirements that will open up Ice Cream Sandwich to a wider breadth of devices than Honeycomb did, Google is set to replace the Android default browser which a much more capable version that is based on the Chrome Webkit code base and should deliver platform synergies between Android and Chrome OS. Google isn’t officially commenting on the release just yet, but CEO Larry Page told analysts during yesterday’s Q2 earnings conference call that “you won’t believe what we managed to get done in this release.”

Page noted that there are now more than 190 million active Android devices.

Chrome itself now stands at more than 200 million users, which compares to about 450 million that are claimed to be using Firefox. Everyday usage appears to be shifting, however, as Chrome is just about to surpass Firefox usage share, according to StatCounter. The most recent data suggests that Google stands at about 24.6% market share this month, while Firefox is at 26.7%. Chrome is likely to surpass Firefox market share on weekend days within 2 weeks. IE is estimated to hold about 40.1% market share this month.

Both Mozilla and Google are expected to deliver several new important features to their browsers before year end, which will put Microsoft under increased pressure. On Google’s side, Chrome just activated the new content settings tab in the latest Chromium versions, which can be accessed via the Under the Hood section in Options, or viachrome://settings/content. The new tab page now lists your email address on the right top and reveals available profiles when you click on it. Most importantly, there is now http pipelining support in Chrome, which dramatically shortens the page load especially on connections with significant latency.

Pipelining support has been promised since 2009, but has been quietly added just recently to Chromium. Francois Beaufort was first to notice the addition and noted that it can be enabled, if the switch -enable-http-pipelining is added to chrome.exe. It is unclear if pipelining already works and the actual speed improvements will depend on your particular Internet connection.

Pipelining has been supported by Opera since version 4, while IE and Safari do not offer the option. Firefox users can enable pipelining support via the about:config feature.


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