Google Chrome is getting a new cache that will massively speed up mobile browsing

Greg S

TS Evangelist

The Chrome team is working on a back/forward cache that is designed to make revisiting pages drastically faster. By preserving the JavaScript and DOM state in memory, loading times of cached pages will be significantly improved.

On desktop platforms, nearly 10 percent of all pages loaded are from the forward and back buttons. Mobile use bumps this stat up to 19 percent of page loads. If Google can pull off this feature well, browsing will appear to be far more responsive and seamless than ever before.

Major challenges of this endeavor include figuring out how to deal with malicious or even just resource intensive scripts. JavaScript is not really intended to be paused at random when a user navigates to another page only to be resumed later. Leaving a script running after a user leaves the site is a big security issue, and reloading the script entirely defeats the point of the feature. Somehow, Google is still working out a way to freeze the state of entire pages safely.

Building out better caching mechanisms will help improve battery life on portable devices. However, a caveat of more caching means more memory usage. Chrome is already often criticized for devouring RAM as soon as a small handful of tabs are open. Storing dozens of web pages in a new cache will required even more memory.

Chrome's "bfcache" feature is under development now and is not expected to make it into stable versions of the browser until 2020.

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Squid Surprise

TS Evangelist
And let me guess.... this new cache will be sending itself to Google's servers... not to spy on me of course, but just to "improve Google Chrome".... I'll stick with Firefox...
 
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Jeff Re

TS Maniac
Chrome already uses half my RAM which leaves precious little left. Maybe if they concentrated on using less memory it would also speed up Chrome. Unfortunately Firefox isn't any better.
 

Teko03

TS Evangelist
Firefox is where it’s at these days. It’s much quicker than chrome.
Firefox was blazing fast when it first "re-launched" with Firefox Quantum, but lately it's been sluggish and the mobile version is even worse. I recently switched to Chrome on my Desktop & I use Edge on Android. I hate to use Chrome, because I'm anti-Google for the most part, but for the time being it's my browser of choice.
 

Jeff Re

TS Maniac
Firefox was blazing fast when it first "re-launched" with Firefox Quantum, but lately it's been sluggish and the mobile version is even worse. I recently switched to Chrome on my Desktop & I use Edge on Android. I hate to use Chrome, because I'm anti-Google for the most part, but for the time being it's my browser of choice.
You had a far different experience than I did.
 

jobeard

TS Ambassador
Hmm; caching should always be of STATIC content (thus not JS state, but JS code is ok) and CSS/JPG files -- then minimized number of objects to reduce the cost of a cache-miss.