Chrome update gives iOS users a speed boost

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Chrome for iOS  just got faster.
Chrome for iOS just got faster.
Photo: Google

Good news for iOS users who prefer Chrome: Google’s browser is now as fast as mobile Safari.

Chrome has switched to the WKWebView engine, which first became a feature in 2014 with iOS 8, allowing third-party browsers access to the same rendering engine as Safari.

Users should notice increased speed, improvements in scrolling and stability. Google estimates Chrome 48 will crash far less often (testing shows at least 70 percent less) than previous versions.

The update became available Wednesday in the App Store.

Google says Chrome users on iOS will like the way the update performs.
Google says Chrome users on iOS will like the way the update performs.
Photo: Apple App Store

Apple started using the Webkit JavaScript engine Nitro in iOS 4.3, but wouldn’t make it available to third-party browsers, citing security reasons, according to Ars Technica.

Developers had to settle for second-rate JavaScript performance. That is, until now.

“There were things related to cookie management, there were things related to security and our view of the Apple security stack, which would have made us lose certain functionality related to knowing more about the SSL certificate,” Chrome product manager AbdelKarim Mardini told Ars Technica. “Apple did fix or provide some APIs in iOS 9 that made us consider the migration.”

Along with the speed, the update will include a Data Saver extension, which reduces the data your computer needs to access websites. The Chrome Blog also offers tips on how “Chromies” can stay secure online.

Source: Ars Technica