Google released its first Chrome update for iOS since last fall
The standard Chrome browser update cycle that Google has followed regardless of platform has always been six weeks. During this time, the developers of the search giant managed to prepare for the release of the next update. In this case, we’re talking about major updates that include several new features, while the in-between patches aimed at fixing bugs and vulnerabilities were released separately. But last November, Google suddenly stopped releasing updates to Chrome for iOS in principle, resuming support only now.
Chrome for iOS got its first update in six months, and it’s almost empty
Tonight, Google released its first Chrome for iOS update since November-month. Given nearly six months of downtime, the search giant’s developers should have jumped through several versions at once, but that didn’t happen. The version itself – 87 – remained the same.
The only thing that has changed is the build number, which comes after the two dots. Chrome for iOS is now build 87.0.4280.163. It does not contain new features and is aimed at fixing existing bugs and flaws, although no critical vulnerabilities have been found in the browser.
Google Chrome update for iOS
Despite the lack of functional innovations, the latest Chrome for iOS update addresses three issues at once
In fact, apart from the fixes, this patch does two more things. First, it brings Chrome in line with Apple’s app security requirements. You can now see what’s known as privacy shortcuts on the browser’s App Store page with the data it collects. Apparently, all this time Google has been trying to minimize these volumes so as not to be seen as a spy.
Google decided to make Chrome as secure as Safari
Second, another task this update does is to prepare the browser for a larger update. Since Chrome has missed several major updates and probably just isn’t ready to accept all the innovations that other platforms already have at once. Apparently, this patch prepares the browser for update number 90, which is due out next week.
New Features in Chrome Update for iOS
Chrome will allow tabs to be secured in incognito mode with biometrics
Chrome 90 for iOS will include exclusively new features that weren’t available before, as well as those that the browser missed during its downtime:
- Incognito tab protection with Touch ID or Face ID;
- Improved compatibility with progressive web apps;
- Launch in test mode of FLoC mechanism to replace site cookies;
- Support for Web NFC function to read tags using the NFC module;
- Previewing links without actually opening them;
How the speed of apps adapted for M1 changes, using Chrome as an example
- Blocking background activity to reduce power consumption;
- Support for PartionAlloc to reduce memory usage;
- Support for Freeze-Dried Tabs tool to load tabs faster from the background;
- Isolation of open tabs from each other for privacy;
- Keeping only those tabs active (if there are many) that are visible to the user, resulting in 7% faster switching between tabs.
Which is better: Chrome or Safari
Safari is clearly inferior to Chrome for functionality, but superior for security and performance.
In fact, there are quite a few innovations, and most of them could already be available to iOS users if Google weren’t afraid of liability for the amount of data its browser collects. It took almost six months to hide this, or minimize it – we’re yet to find out – and it left users without updates.
Slowing down your Mac? Try uninstalling Google Chrome
No matter how hard Google tries to make Chrome cooler and more functional than Safari, the search giant fails to overtake Apple’s browser in terms of speed. Measurements show that Safari uses a lot less memory, is more energy efficient, runs 50% faster in all scenarios, and is safer for web snooping. So, Google, try and strive, but you’re still a long way from Apple.