Google has rolled out a new stable version of its Chrome browser, version 45, to Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android users. The new version brings some new features to desktop, such as automatically blocking Flash content like ads, and for Android, brings support for Custom Tabs.
As a part of the new update, Google Chrome for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android would now automatically pause flash content that isn't "central to the webpage,". For instance, a video playing on the page would work normally but the advertisement on the sides of the web pages would pause. If Chrome pauses an animation or flash content in which users are interested in, they can simply click on it to resume the playback. By pausing the flash content, Google here is aiming to decrease the Web page loading time on Chrome and reduce power consumption by the browser. The company had announced the feature back in June but not enabled it by default, and with the roll out of the new Chrome 45 browser on Tuesday, has enabled it by default. Users can always reverse the option via Advanced Settings.
In a separate blog post, Google detailed detailed some other new features in the browser, including one that restored tabs in the order they were viewed. In addition, if Chrome detects your computer is running low on resources, it will stop restoring the rest of your tabs to save memory. Users can manually click to restore them in case they want access.
Another memory-saving technique Google is touting is the cleaning up of unused memory if a webpage isn't busy with some other task. The firm says in practice it found this reduced website memory usage by 10 percent on average, but added that "the effect is even more dramatic on complex Web apps." With Gmail, Google claims to be able to "free up nearly a quarter of the memory used by the tab." The benefits of the feature are seen in the above video.
Coming to Chrome 45 for Android, we see the introduction of the Custom Tabs feature. For those unaware, Google introduced Custom Tabs at its I/O Developers Conference in May this year. For users, Custom Tabs are basically WebView tabs that apps can open internally, loading pages inside the app itself, without opening the Chrome browser and loading pages. These Custom Tabs, as per Google, are designed to be fast and efficient in opening Web pages. Notably, the Custom Tabs were already present for Chrome Beta users and those who are running Developer Editions. Users can download the browser app from Google Play but would not see Custom Tabs unless enabled by the app developers.
The Android Developers blog post said, "apps can pre-load pages in the background so they appear to load nearly instantly when the user navigates to them. Apps can also customize the look and feel of Chrome to match their app by changing the toolbar color, adjusting the transition animations, and even adding custom actions to the toolbar so users can perform app-specific actions directly from the custom tab."
Also, the Custom tabs share the same cookies as the Chrome browser, helping for smoother transitions. For instance if users log in to a website on Chrome browser, they will stay logged in even if they access the same Web page via Chrome Custom Tabs in a specific app. "Other features that help users browse the web, like saved passwords, autofill, Tap to Search, and Sync, are also available in custom tabs," adds the blog post.
The search giant says that developers can integrate Custom Tabs in their apps by "tweaking a few parameters". End users would be experiencing Custom Tabs in the coming weeks, with Feedly, The Guardian, Medium, Player.fm, Skyscanner, Stack Overflow, Tumblr, and Twitter due to integrate the feature, and more apps set to do so in the future.