Google has pushed out a new stable version of Chrome for Android that should provide better battery life and reduced data usage when watching videos. That’s certainly a welcome improvement given that by the company’s own estimates, a billion hours of video are now viewed per week on the browser, and much of it is on mobile devices.
According to the company video playback on Chrome 52 now feels smoother and loads faster -- as much as five times faster in the demo video that accompanies the announcement -- and your battery will last longer too. Video also now works with Data Saver Mode, saving you as much as 50% on data by showing a lightweight version of the video.
Google notes that the improvements are most noticeable on short videos where you should see little to no buffer. Also, the faster loading times and battery enhancements apply to HTML5 video, so you won’t see any benefits for Flash-based video. Another reason to ditch the much maligned format like much of the web has been doing for a while.
In a statement sent to The Verge, Google noted it has also made a 33% improvement in video playback GPU/CPU power consumption on Windows 10 since the beginning of the year, and by Chrome 53 the company expects it will be at parity with other browsers in terms of power consumption for the majority of video playback on the internet.