Google Chrome for Android

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Google Chrome for Android
Initial releaseJune 27, 2012; 8 years ago (2012-06-27)
Stable release(s) [±]
83.0.4103.106 (June 15, 2020; 20 days ago (2020-06-15)[1]) [±]
Preview release(s) [±]
Beta84.0.4147.69 / June 24, 2020; 11 days ago (2020-06-24)[2]
Dev85.0.4181.5 / June 25, 2020; 10 days ago (2020-06-25)[1]
Canary86.0.4193.0 / July 5, 2020; 0 days ago (2020-07-05)[1]
Written inC, C++, Java (Android app only), JavaScript, Python[3][4][5]
EnginesBlink, V8[6]
Operating systemAndroid Lollipop and later[7]
TypeWeb browser
LicenseFreeware vastly based on Chromium (mostly BSD license)[8]

Google's Chrome for Android is an edition of Google Chrome released for the Android system. On February 7, 2012, Google launched Google Chrome Beta for Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) devices,[9] for selected countries.[10] The first stable version of the browser was released on June 27, 2012.[11] Chrome 18.0.1026.311, released on September 26, 2012, was the first version of Chrome for Android to support Intel x86 based mobile devices.[12]


'Google Chrome Beta' for Android devices was available for devices running the Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or above version of the operating system. It was launched on February 7, 2012, for a limited number of countries.[9][13] The Android version can be installed from Google Play. It currently lacks some features available in the desktop version, but has some additional features:

  • Synchronization with desktop Chrome to provide the same bookmarks and view the same browser tabs.[14]
  • Page pre-rendering[15]
  • Hardware acceleration[16]
  • Many of the latest HTML5 features to the Android platform, almost all of the Web Platform's features: GPU-accelerated canvas, including CSS 3D Transforms, CSS animations, SVG, WebSocket (including binary messages), Dedicated Workers; it has overflow scroll support, strong HTML5 video support, and new capabilities such as IndexedDB, WebWorkers, Application Cache and the File APIs, date and time pickers, parts of the Media Capture API.[6][15] Also supports mobile oriented features such as Device Orientation and Geolocation.[6]
  • Tabs can be switched with a swipe gesture.[14]
  • Link Preview allows zooming in on (multiple) links so as to ensure clicking on the right one.[14]
  • Font Boosting is used when text on the website is too small to be read properly. It uses an algorithm to increase font sizes when necessary, aiming to make the text readable regardless of the zoom level.[6]
  • Remote debugging[15][17]
  • Data saver. When this feature is turned on, Chrome will use Google servers to compress pages before downloading them. SSL and incognito pages are not included.[18][19] (Introduced in Version 29.0.1547.59)[20]
  • Google Cast support for HTML5 video
  • Chrome apps and extensions not supported[16]
  • Native Client not supported[16]
  • Part of the browser layer has been implemented in Java, communicating with the rest of the Chromium and Blink code through Java Native Bindings.[6]

The code of Chrome for Android is a fork of the Chromium project. One of the top priorities is upstreaming most new and modified code to Chromium and WebKit to resolve the fork.[6]

On June 27, 2012, Google Chrome for Android exited beta and became stable.[22]

Chrome 18.0.1026.311, released at September 26, 2012 was the first version of Chrome for Android to support Intel x86-based mobile devices.[12]

Google brought Chrome for Android in line with the desktop version with Chrome 25. They released a separate Chrome for the Android beta channel on January 10, 2013, which runs side-by-side with the stable channel for Android.[23][24]


JR Raphael, writing for Computerworld noted "[It] functions separately from the stock system browser -- and offers plenty of advantages over it, too." "Chrome for Android gets tabs right. [...] [it] automatically pops up a magnified view anytime you tap a link that's close to other links on the page". "Perhaps the most impressive feature of Chrome for Android is its integrated sync capability [including] the ability to sync open tabs, meaning you can actually see what tabs you have open on any other Chrome-running device." "One of the biggest benefits of the new Chrome Android browser is its speed" concluding that "My first impression, without a doubt, is that Chrome for Android is a tremendous step forward for Android-based browsing".[25]

The GSMArena review noted that "Performance-wise Chrome is fast. It scrolls, zooms and loads any web page just as quickly as you’d expect [...] You can control almost every aspect of your web browsing from choosing what content you want to allow to load like JavaScript, images, cookies and pop-ups. If you are out of Wi-Fi access, you can, for example, choose temporarily not to load images.", concluding "Chrome is an enhanced version of the already excellent stock Android browser and builds on it quite a lot".[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Google Chrome". OmahaProxy CSV Viewer. Chromium team.
  2. ^ "Chrome Beta for Android Update [date mislabeled as "June 24, 2020"]". Google Blogspot. June 25, 2020. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  3. ^ "Chromium (Google Chrome)". Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Chromium coding style". Google Open Source. Retrieved 29 March 2017.
  5. ^ Lextrait, Vincent (January 2010). "The Programming Languages Beacon, v10.0". Archived from the original on May 30, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2010.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Bringing Google Chrome to Android,, 2012-01-30, retrieved 2012-02-09
  7. ^ Nyquist, Tommy (January 14, 2020). "PSA: Android KitKat will soon be deprecated in the Chromium code base". Google Groups. Retrieved May 28, 2020.
  8. ^ Wright, Mic (22 May 2015). "Build an open-source browser using Chrome for Android code". The Next Web. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  9. ^ a b Smith, Mat (February 7, 2012). "Google Chrome Beta arrives on Android (video)". Engadget. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  10. ^ "Install Chrome for Android Beta". Google Chrome Help.
  11. ^ Rajagopalan, Srikanth (June 27, 2012). "Chrome for Android out of Beta!". Google Chrome Releases blog. Retrieved September 22, 2012.
  12. ^ a b "Chrome for Android Update". Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  13. ^ "Chrome for Android 0.16.4130.199". Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  14. ^ a b c Beta version of Chrome for Android 4.0 released,, retrieved 2012-02-09
  15. ^ a b c Google Operating System: Chrome for Android,, 2004-02-27, retrieved 2012-02-09
  16. ^ a b c Google Chrome for Android – 23 Questions and Answers,, retrieved 2012-02-09
  17. ^ Google Chrome for Android: Remote Debugging,, archived from the original on 2012-07-09, retrieved 2012-02-09
  18. ^ "Data Saver - Google Chrome". Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  19. ^ "Use less data with Chrome's Data Saver - Android - Google Chrome Help". Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  20. ^ "Chrome for Android Update - WebRTC support".
  21. ^ Safe Browsing and Android, June 26, 2013
  22. ^ "Google Chrome for Android comes out of beta, hits Play today". Engadget. June 27, 2012.
  23. ^ "Chrome Beta - Apps on Google Play". Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  24. ^ Protalinski, Emil (10 January 2013). "Google Launches Chrome Beta Channel for Android 4.0+". The Next Web. Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  25. ^ "Google's Chrome for Android: A hands-on tour - ComputerWorld Blogs". Retrieved 6 June 2019.
  26. ^ "Google Chrome beta for Android review [HANDS-ON]". Retrieved 6 June 2019.

External links[edit]