Chrome Beta for Android gets experimental features

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 25, 2013
Apps, Google Android

Google some time ago launched Chrome Beta for Android as a testing and sneak peak version of the browser for the company's Android operating system. The idea here was to provide users with a beta version of the browser that makes available features that are not yet ready for prime time, much like Google is handling these updates for desktop versions of the Internet browser.

The beta version gets updated more frequently than the stable version of the browser. There have been three releases since the launch of the beta channel on January 10 and while the majority of updates and fixes are not anything to get overly excited about, today's Chrome beta update for Android changes that.

The desktop version of Chrome supports experimental features which you can access by loading chrome://flags in the browser. This works similarly to how Google is handling experiments for its Gmail service. Basically, it lets you enable or change features in Chrome that are not integrated into the browser permanently yet.

The Android version of Chrome Beta has received support for chrome://flags in the most recent update and while it is certainly limited at this point in time when compared to the desktop version, it is a big step for Chrome users who like to work with experimental features.

chrome flags android beta

When you check what's available in the beta version you will notice that the majority of experiments are not available for Android yet. The following are available:

  • Override software rendering list
  • Disable accelerated 2D Canvas
  • Disable deferred 2D Canvas
  • Disable accelerated CSS animations
  • Composited render layout borders
  • FPS counter
  • GPU accelerated SVG Filters
  • Enable WebGL
  • Foxed position elements create stacking contexts
  • Disable hyperlink auditing
  • Show autofill predictions
  • Enable tab favicon sync
  • Enable sync keystroke encryption
  • Use new scroing in HistoryQuickProvider
  • Reorder results for inlining in HistoryQuickProvider
  • Inline HistoryQuickProvider suggestions
  • HTTP Pipelining
  • Enable SPDY/3
  • Disable Media Source API on video elements
  • Enable experimental JavaScript
  • Disable better session restore
  • Enable experimental WebKit features
  • Enable CSS Shaders
  • Disable the website settings UI
  • Enable crashing on GPU hang
  • Enable performance monitoring
  • Enable new autofill heuristics
  • Enable full history sync

Some features, like HTTP Pipelining or SPDY/3 support may improve performance in the browser significantly, while others may improve your privacy or enable support for web technologies on Android that are otherwise not available yet.


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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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