Google Chrome on Android

Speed up Google Chrome on your Android smartphone

Google Chrome’s browser for Android is one of my most used apps on my smartphone and it’s likely it’s yours too. I own a Google Nexus 5 and with its 2GB of RAM and fast quad-core processor, it has been a pretty fluid experience. However, browsing with Chrome sometimes stutters when the page is filled with JavaScript files or visual effects. To improve your browsing experience, you can perform some small tweaks that can lead to improvements in your overall browsing habits.

Allow Chrome to access more RAM

Google Chrome relies on RAM (“Random Access Memory”) to perform well; the more RAM it is allowed to access, the browser work more fluid.  When giving Google Chrome on Android access to more RAM, you should see a decrease in stuttering when scrolling through a page. To enable this feature, open a new tab in your Chrome browser on Android and type in the address bar: chrome://flags/#max-tiles-for-interest-area (‘Specify the maximum tiles for interest area’) which allows you to set a value from 64MB to 512MB. If you have a high end phone with at least 1GB, preferably 2GB of RAM, you should try setting this value to the maximum possible one (e.g. 512MB). If you have an older Android device, you should first try changing this value to 256MB. This will ensure that other applications and the Android operating system has still enough RAM available to function properly.

To check FPS count (“Frames Per Second”), you can enable ‘FPS counter’ on the same page. Do not forget to relaunch by clicking the ‘Relaunch Now‘ button at the bottom, so that changes can take effect. Next to the number of frames, the new box will also show the RAM usage of the browser as well as the maximum amount of RAM it is allowed to access as per your settings.

FPS counter Google Chrome on Android

Offline Mode in Chrome for Android

Another experimental feature, accessible from chrome://flags/#enable-offline-mode, will make sure Chrome stores pages more aggressively in the cache so they load faster the next time you visit them. A cached page means the page is stored on the device; files that are already on your smartphone will not be downloaded again from the website’s server, resulting in faster page load. HTTPS request are probably not (fully) cached.

Keep in mind that offline mode will, as a result of the increased caching, increase the size used by the Chrome app. However, a ‘bonus’ here is that pages might also be available offline, when your device is not connected to the Internet.

Faster, simpler ‘New Tab’ page

The ‘New Tab’ page offers an overview of most visited pages, as well as bookmarks etc. To make the new tab open even faster, you can enable a more basic ‘New Tab’ page. Go to chrome://flags/#enable-new-ntp to enable this option. You will see the new tab page is a lot faster to open.

Chrome Beta

If you are still not satisfied with your browsing experience, you Google Chrome Beta for Androidmight try Chrome Beta. Chrome Beta allows you to test out the newest features that Google might implement in the stable Chrome browser in the future. Chrome Beta often tries to improve performance and stability and wants users to test them out first. You can easily try Chrome Beta alongside your current Google Chrome browser as well as sync your bookmarks, history and other data as you do with your current Google Chrome app.

 

 

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