Desktop users of the Google Chrome web browser already have the choice between different versions of the browser. While the majority is using the stable version of the browser, beta, dev and canary versions are also available for users who want to beta test the browser or use features that have been added to those versions to use them before they make their way into the stable version of the Chrome web browser.
It seems that Google plans to use a similar scheme for the Android version of the Internet browser. The company has released Chrome Beta to the Google Play store from where it can be downloaded and installed on compatible Android versions. The minimum version of Android that is required to install Chrome Beta is 4.0 which means it has different version requirements than the stable version of Chrome.
It is also important to note that it can be installed alongside the stable version of Google Chrome on Android so that you can go back to the other mobile browser version if you run into any issues using the beta.
Google has not made available a changelog or what's new on the application's page yet so that it is not really clear how it differs from the stable version. Some early reviewers mentioned improved speed and performance in comparison to the stable version, while others noted that the browser crashed quite frequently on their system. Others stated that they did not notice speed improvements, I guess it comes down to trying out the browser for yourself to see if it provides you with additional features or improved performance.
The official Google Chrome blog reveals what the beta version of Chrome for Android has to offer. According to it, users benefit from performance improvements. Google mentions that the beta version of the browser is on average between 25% to 30% faster than the stable version. The beta version is also supporting additional HTML5 features like CSS Filters.
Jason Kersey, Google's technical program manager mentions that users should expect features and bugs in the beta release and that it is "a bit rough around the edges". So, better make a backup of your data before you install the application on your phone.
Will Google release dev and canary versions for the Android version of the Chrome browser as well? It is not clear if the company will do that, but it could very well be that it plans to sync all versions accross devices.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.