Google introduced Chrome for Android with Android 4.1 and the Nexus 7. With the launch of the Nexus 4 and Android 4.2, the company ditched the stock AOSP browser for Chrome. While Chrome for Android is feature-filled, it has some major performance issues even on devices with a dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM.
Google aims to bring Chrome for Android on level with its desktop counterpart in terms of security and performance. Keeping this in mind, the company has released a beta version of Chrome for Android in the Play Store. Like the beta channel for the desktop version of Chrome, the beta version of Chrome for Android will provide users with some new experimental features, under-the-hood changes, bug-fixes and much more.
The official blog post from Google states that the beta version of Chrome for Android should already feature at least 25-30% improvement in Octane benchmarks on average. Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7 users who have already tried the beta version of the browser have also reported an improvement in the performance of the app.
The beta version of Chrome for Android can be installed side-by-side with the stable version available on the Play Store.
Over the last 24 hours, quite a few popular Android apps have received major updates. Firstly, Mozilla has released a major update for the tablet edition of Firefox browser, aimed at improving the speed and overall fit and finish of the browser. The speed enhancements in the latest version is visible right from the reduced start-up time to the reduced loading and navigating web pages time.
Second in the list is LevelUp Studio’s popular Twitter client, Plume. The application recently got a major new UI refresh with a Holo based theme, but LevelUp Studio has further tweaked the UI of the app in the latest update. The latest update brings a new fly-in menu, some layout optimisations for the Nexus 7, and a much faster performance overall. Slowly and steadily, Plume has become the go-to Twitter client in the Android ecosystem.
Last, but not the least is a popular File Manager app for Android, ASTRO.The application has been updated after ages from its developers, Metago, and now features a drop-dead gorgeous UI. As of now, the latest version is only for Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean users, but the developer has promised to release the new update for older versions of Android as well.
Rovio has released an update for Angry Birds Space that adds 10 new delectable levels filled with “popcorn, cookies, and candy apples”. In these 10 new levels, the birds can bounce off jelly trampolines, and “pop corn to create delicious mayhem”.
Apart from Angry Birds Space, Instagram for Android has also received an update. The new update improves the search functionality of the app and contains some bug fixes as well. Below is the full change-log of the update -:
- Improved search functionality
- Support for location data taken from Gallery images when geotag is selected
- Fix for HTC Sensation 4G freezing using tilt shift
- Improved support and bugfixes for devices using the Instagram advanced camera
- Addresses tilt shift issues on lower resolution images
Dropbox for Android also got an update that adds custom-tailored video streaming for Ice Cream Sandwich users, and support for Korean language.
Endomono for Android also received an update today that adds some new features and enhances certain aspects of the UI. Below is the change-log of the update -:
- Interval training has had some beautification
- Add a profile picture from the phone using e.g. the camera
- An about screen added in the settings that shows the app’s version number and what’s new
- Numerous bugfixes (incl. GPS sleep bug)
Last but not the least, Google has also rolled out a minor update for Google Maps that fixes some of the Latitude related bugs with the app.