Alibaba-owned UCWeb has pushed an update to its UC Browser, the mobile browser that's really popular in India. UC Browser version 12.0 - already available for download via Google Play - comes with new features and optimisations with a big focus on videos. UC Browser now claims to save up to 50 percent data when viewing videos, as compared to the previous version, with the aim of offering a "no buffering" video experience. Users of the latest version of the browser on Android can tap on play and watch video while it is downloading in the background.
Also, there is a new video preview feature as well. A user can get a preview on a thumbnail by clicking the video and decide whether to continue watching before downloading the whole clip. Additionally, in a new multi-tasking feature, users can watch a video and browse at the same time.
The browser now runs on the upgraded core U4 Kernel, which the company says, enables faster page loads without draining RAM. This will essentially help low-RAM smartphone users. Here are the features that the latest UC Browser Android update brings:
- Save 50% data - The new UC Browser supports latest video coding format, VP9 Codec, helping save up to 50 % data as compared to the last version, while returning the same video quality
- Flexibility of switching definition - The upgraded browser supports new Media Source Extensions, introduced by World Wide Web to facilitate video streaming on websites. It will help optimise pre-loading of video on website and switch the definition automatically under different network situations
- Watch videos while downloading and Video previews - The updated browser gives users a "no buffering" video experience. Viewers can also click "Play" and watch video simultaneously while it is downloading. Further, user can easily get a preview on a thumbnail by clicking the video and decide whether to continue watching before downloading the whole clip
- Smoother browsing experience - UC Browser now runs on the upgraded core U4 Kernel, which allows for faster page loads without draining the RAM of the device. This helps with providing a fast and smooth browsing experience, even for users with budget phones that have RAM as low as 1-2 GB
- Smart weather and Smart Zodiac - The updated version has added two customised functions - Smart Weather and Smart Zodiac Signs. Now the browser will remind users about the weather forecast and horoscope prediction of the day
- Supports Multi-tasking - User can now continue to watch a video and browse simultaneously - the video plays in a small window
- UC Browser 12.0 tackles CPU Exploits - UC Browser 12.0 addresses concerns regarding the recently-disclosed CPU exploits. The new version contains mitigations against Spectre, recently-discovered vulnerability that is affecting a number of processors around the world
UC Browser says it registered 60 percent growth in video views from Q2 2017 to Q4 2017 in India. In the new feature, the company promises that "users can save over 50 percent internet data while watching videos, which can play without buffering and can be watched while it is downloading." The browser now claims over 130 million monthly active users in India.
UC Browser says the latest update's 'Be Smart' feature uses big data technology to provide users with personalised recommendations and content. This means users will get suggested content based on their preferences and usage. Apart from the recommendations tab, the newsfeed now gets various categories on the homepage. Additionally, users also get customised cards for horoscope and weather.
Notably, the new UC Browser 126.96.36.1998 update is currently available to download from Google Play.