While Chrome 48 began rolling out on browsers last week, Google has announced some new features for it across the various platformsm it is on. Most notably, Chrome for iOS gets significantly faster, the Data Saver extension exits beta, and extensions are now better highlighted.

On all platforms, except iOS, Chrome renders pages out-of-process. Constraints in that platform forced Chrome to render web pages in-process using UIWebView. Starting with iOS 8, Google has been migrating to WKWebView and today announced that Chrome 48 fully makes the switch.

The result is increased stability, speed, responsiveness, and web compatibility. When a page crashes or runs out of memory, WKWebView’s out-of-process rendering will not bring down the entire browser. As a result, Chrome crashes about 70% less. JavaScript performance according to benchmarks are over 11x faster on the iPhone 6S. Additionally, the switch makes Chrome more compatible with web standards. While the update is available now in iOS, the switch from UIWebView to WKWebView is being done gradually.

First announced last March, the Data Saver extension for desktops is now out of beta. The feature has been on Android for awhile now and saves user’s data by first routing traffic through Google’s servers and sending users a compressed format. Version 2.0 of the extension drops the beta tag and otherwise remains unchanged.

In Chrome 48, all extensions will now have their icons appear to the right of the address bar. Google is making this change so users can identify extensions they don’t use and easily delete them by right clicking and tapping ‘Remove from Chrome.’

Extension removal GIF

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com