Windows 10 users who use Google Chrome as the default web browser on a device that supports touch controls may have noticed that Chrome's support for touch controls is not the best.
It is easy enough to find out that the browser's support for touch-based events is lacking if you compare it to touch support in Microsoft Edge. Whereas using a touchpad to zoom or scroll in Microsoft Edge is butter-smooth, touch events feel sluggish in Google Chrome.
Chrome is not the only program on Windows that feels sluggish when you use touch controls to scroll or zoom; in fact, I'd argue that most programs on Windows behave that way.
Chrome users could make use of scrolling extensions such as Smooth Key Scroll but these were not designed specifically for touch-based systems.
Microsoft uses the Precision Touchpad driver in Edge which is responsible for the smooth scrolling and zooming of the browser. The driver gives programs better control over touch events including multi-touch events.
If a browser or program does not support Precision Touchpad, scrolling, zooming and other touch-related events are not as granular.
Google rolled out support for Precision Touchpad in Google Chrome Canary yesterday. The cutting edge version of Google Chrome is a development build and it will take a while before support for the feature lands in stable versions of the web browser.
Windows users may install Chrome Canary next to other Chrome versions such as Chrome Stable or Beta.
You can download Chrome Canary from the official Google Chrome download site to give it a try right now to see if it improves touch related events in the browser. You do need a device that supports touch, for instance a Surface device with its trackpad.
You will notice that touch operations such as zooming or scrolling are improved significantly in Chrome Canary, and that new touch-based features such as swipe to go back or forward are supported as well.
While there is no ETA yet for when the improvement lands in Chrome Beta or Stable, it is likely that it will become available in the coming months unless bugs are discovered that delay the release further.
You can check out the main tracking bug on the Chromium website.
Now You: Do you use touchpads? What's your experience when using them?
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