Google today introduced a few stability and performance improvements into its Chrome for iOS app, mainly centering around the company's switch from in-process rendering with UIWebView to out-of-process rendering thanks to WKWebView. Tests by Google proved the new update reduces the app's crash rate by 70 percent, letting users pick up where they left off on a page from any device without a crash causing issues.

google chrome update

The biggest change is in stability: with WKWebView’s out-of-process rendering, when the web view crashes or runs out of memory, it won’t bring down all of Chrome with it. As a result, Chrome crashes 70% less with WKWebView. Even when counting the “Aw, Snap!” page shown when the renderer crashes, there’s still a big improvement.

Outside of stability, WKWebView brings many other benefits. Web compatibility is improved with support for features like IndexedDB, bringing the HTML5test score for Chrome on iOS from 391 up to 409. Switching to background tabs will cause pages to reload 25% less often. JavaScript speed on benchmarks such as Octane is an order of magnitude faster, and scrolling is smoother and more responsive.

For the web, Google also created a new extension called "Data Saver," that will allow Chrome users the ability to manage data usage while outside of their home Wi-Fi. Similar in function to the extension available for Android devices, Data Saver reduces the data needed to access the web with the help of the company's "compression technology." The extension lets users see exactly how much data they saved and highlight which websites are using the most while out of the house.

Google said that the iOS Chrome update will begin rolling out starting today, and all users have to do is check for the update in the App Store [Direct Link] if they don't feel like waiting for an automatic update.

Top Rated Comments

benz240 Avatar
87 months ago
Now, just fix Chrome for OSX and we might have a story
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Traverse Avatar
87 months ago
The biggest feature that keep see bound to Safari is Reading List. I don't know how many people here use it, but I've used it every day since Safari 5.1! Right now I have about 100 articles. Yes, there are third party services that can do this or you can even save them in a Bookmark folder for later, but with Safari it's built in!

As long as Reading List remains a Safari-only feature*, I'll use Safari for personal browsing and Chrome for business-related stuff.

*I believe Microsoft Edge has a similar feature now
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
captain cadet Avatar
87 months ago
Now, just fix Chrome for OSX and we might have a story
The way it drinks battery is incredible with one tab open - I can have 10 tabs in safari and it would use less energy than 1 tab in chrome
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WordMasterRice Avatar
87 months ago
I recall reading somewhere at one point that the transition wasn't a trivial one at all and basically required more or less quite a bit of a rewrite. There were some things that weren't available or easily done with the new view that seemingly needed time to be worked out.
This is more or less correct. WKWebView has a lot of limitations compared to UIWebView from an API standpoint, especially when it came out. I tried to adapt one of my apps to it and it just wasn't possible at the time.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KALLT Avatar
87 months ago
So forgive my technological ignorance, but I understand that all third party browsers for iOS have always been slower than Safari due to restrictions from Apple that I don't fully understand. Does this change mean that Chrome could now rival Safari for speed?
Basically, developers have to use Apple’s APIs to write their apps. For web content, Apple provides the UIWebView class and the WKWebView class since iOS 8. The problem with these is that they were never meant for creating fully-fledged browsers, but for showing web content within apps. Safari likely uses a lot more functionality than Apple exposes through these two classes, so third-party browsers can simply never compete effectively.

Does this mean that ios9 content blockers will now work with Chrome?
Nope. Only Safari and the new SFSafariViewController class. The latter cannot be meaningfully used for a browser apps.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JTravers Avatar
87 months ago
Because it is major regardless the Google-Apple competition.
The real question is why it took a long time to google to release it.
Some reasons....
https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=423444

This is a meta-bug to track using the new WKWebView instead of UIWebView on iOS 8+. This would have several advantages we're aware of:
- Faster JS (modern engine rather than the older engine UIWebView is still restricted to use)
- Crash isolation (renderer crashes wouldn't bring down the whole app, better matching Chrome on other platforms)
- Support for IndexedDB (support for which was *not* added to UIWebView even in iOS 8)


Unfortunately, despite the advantages of WKWebView, it has some significant technical limitations that UIWebView does not, which means we can’t simply drop it in as a replacement. A partial list of regressions relative to UIWebView that we’re currently aware of:
- There is no cookie management API, which means there is no obvious way to clear/manage cookies
- Protocol handlers no longer work, which breaks several very important features
- POST bodies are missing from delegate callbacks, which breaks certain aspects of form handling

We’re still actively investigating WKWebView, looking for possible alternate approaches, and providing feedback to Apple about issues. We certainly hope to use WKWebView in the future, but there’s currently no way of knowing if or when that will be possible.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple watch ultra hammer test

YouTuber Tests Apple Watch Ultra Durability With a Hammer: Table Breaks Before the Watch

Sunday September 25, 2022 2:27 pm PDT by
A YouTuber has put Apple's claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display. TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch...
tim cook spring loaded event

Six Major Products to Expect From Apple in 2023

Sunday September 25, 2022 10:57 am PDT by
As we approach the end of a busy product release season for Apple with only new iPads and Macs left to be announced over the next month or so, we're also setting our sights on 2023. Apple is rumored to have several major products in the pipeline for next year, including new Macs, a new HomePod, a VR/AR headset, and so much more. Other than new iPhones and Apple Watches, which are expected...
Tim Cook Apple Event

Gurman: New iPads and Macs May Be Announced Through Press Releases, No October Event

Sunday September 25, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Apple may decide to release its remaining products for 2022, which include updated iPad Pro, Mac mini, and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, through press releases on its website rather than a digital event, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that Apple is currently "likely to release its remaining 2022 products via press releases,...
AirPods Max 2022 Colors

Ten Things AirPods Pro 2 Tell Us About AirPods Max 2

Saturday September 24, 2022 1:00 am PDT by
Upon the release of the second-generation AirPods Pro, the AirPods Max became the oldest current-generation AirPods product still in Apple's lineup. Introducing several new features like Adaptive Transparency and the H2 chip, the second-generation AirPods Pro may provide some of the best indications yet of what to expect from the second-generation AirPods Max. Almost two years later, rumors...
iPhone 14 Pro Sports Scores Dynamic Island

iPhone 14 Pro Features Live Sports Scores in Dynamic Island on iOS 16.1

Monday September 26, 2022 7:52 am PDT by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that iOS 16.1 will enable a new Live Activities feature that allows iPhone users to stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities also integrate with the Dynamic Island. Premier League match in Dynamic Island via Paul Bradford ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Some iOS 16 Users Continue to Face Unaddressed Bugs and Battery Drain Two Weeks After Launch

Monday September 26, 2022 7:34 am PDT by
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more. After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in...
iPhone 14 Pros in Hand Black Background Feature

Verizon iPhone 14 Pro Customers Reporting Cellular Connection Issues

Monday September 26, 2022 6:23 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro customers on the Verizon network in the U.S. are reporting issues with slow and unreliable 5G cellular connections and calls randomly dropping. Several threads on Reddit (1,2,3) and the MacRumors forums chronicle issues faced by Verizon customers and Apple's latest iPhone. According to user reports, signal strength on the iPhone 14 Pro is unreliable and weak, while other...
iphone 14 pro max deep purple

iPhone 15 'Ultra' Could Replace Pro Max Model Next Year

Sunday September 25, 2022 7:02 am PDT by
Apple is gearing up to possibly replace its "Pro Max" iPhone with an all-new "Ultra" iPhone 15 model next year, reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman said today. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that for the iPhone 15, Apple is planning a revamped design alongside USB-C and a potential name change. Apple could replace its "Pro Max" branding, which it started to use...
apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...