Hate it when the Google Chrome app gets pissed on your iPhone and crashes? Me too. It does it less often than Safari, so I’ve chalked it up as the nature of the mobile web. That changes with the release of Chrome 48.
Google overhauled the mobile browser app to cut crashes by 70 percent and give you a performance boost. The biggest criticism to date for the Chrome app is that it crashed too much.
How much has changed? Well to borrow a line from Apple, everything. Google engineers did an extensive rewrite of the browser, calling it the single biggest change since it launched in 2012.
Why the emphasis on getting performance right? Google needs you on Chrome surfing the web on iOS devices. It’s the most used browser, but Apple’s tendency is to keep things in native apps. Think Instagram for photo sharing or Facebook’s plethora of apps for annoying your friends with additional photos or your nutty political views.
Fun times but none equals revenue for Google or its parent, Alphabet. You want crazy technology? Use Chrome and hopefully love the ads. Hey, tell some of the sites to go easy on the horribly coded ad networks and maybe Chrome wouldn’t crash. That makes too much sense.
Google Chrome Vs Apple
Why has it taken so long for Chrome to fix the iOS issues? Apple. Abdel Karim Mardini, chief product manager for the iOS version of Chrome, didn’t hold back in assigning blame.
“It doesn’t seem like browsers are as important to them as they are to Google or the mobile Web in general,” and Apple has “much more of a native app mindset.”
If Google wants to hammer a bug or support new web technologies, it has to wait on Apple to support it via its browser rendering engine. The good news is Apple is making strides in improving the engine, overhauling it with the release of iOS 8 in 2014.
The improvements allow Chrome to display its ‘Aw, Snap’ message for problematic websites instead of the app crashing to the home screen.
Chrome 48 is rolling out right now. If your iOS device is set to automatic updates, you should already have it. And if you don’t, you can force update Chrome via the App Store.