Google on Wednesday rolled out an update to Chrome for iOS, and it’s a biggie. It doesn’t introduce any new features or gestures, and the design is similar to what it was a week ago. It does, however, promise improved speeds, and a 70 percent reduction in crashes. That’s nothing to shake a stick at.
The speed increase is thanks to Chrome’s adoption of WKWebView, which is the same rendering engine Apple’s Safari browses uses. That sure sounds dull—a new rendering engine, whoopdie doo. But Chrome should start feeling much quicker, smoother and more nimble. The experience of Chrome for iOS has been just OK, but after today’s update, it’ll be a lot better.
To prove today’s update is as dramatic as Google claims, the search giant performed some benchmark tests, and found that Chrome for iOS is just as fast and stable as Safari. One caveat is that only users running iOS 9 can download the newest and best version of Chrome (version 48); Google’s Chromium team said migrating from UIWebView to WKWebView in iOS 8 posed too many problems.
Today’s update comes on the heels of improvements being made to Chrome on the desktop side, which Google says will dramatically improve the browser’s performance.