Google says it just made Chrome a lot faster on both Mac and Android

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Google’s Chrome web browser gets a speed boost. According to a news announcement published today, Google has made several under-the-hood performance improvements to its popular browser, leading to a major new performance milestone for Mac and Android. Collectively, a series of tweaks pushed Chrome up 10% over the course of three months against Apple’s Speedometer 2.1 browser benchmark, Google says.

The changes include a range of tweaks, from improved caching to better memory management, the company notes. This includes things like improved caching and better memory management. While not everyone will care about the technical details of how the speed improvements were achieved, many will like to see their browsers speed up.

Despite complaints from users over the years about Chrome’s growing sluggishness, Google’s browser still takes off with a large majority of the web browser’s market share. For example, according to Statcounter’s March 2023 stats, Chrome garners 64.8% of the global market share, while its closest rival, Safari, is just 19.5% across all platforms. On the desktop alone, Chrome’s share is even higher at 65.8%, followed by 11.12% for Edge and 10.91% for Safari.

Image Credits: Google

In a blog post, Google explained exactly what kind of adjustments it has made to reach the new milestone.

It said it found some targeted optimizations for the widely used JS ‘Object.prototype.toString’ and ‘Array.prototype.join’ functions, in particular. It also implemented targeted improvements to CSS’s InterpolableColor. In addition, the company noticed that “innerHTML” is a common way to update the DOM via JavaScript, so it introduced specialized fast paths for parsing.

Another improvement was more efficient pointer compression and better memory management techniques. This affects operations that occur frequently, leading to a more general performance improvement. The post also talks about moving commonly used objects – such as JavaScript’s `undefined’ – to the beginning of memory bases, where they can be accessed by faster machine code.

If none of these details matter to you, at least one of the improvements Google has made will also benefit WebKit, the browser engine developed by Apple and used in Safari, and will also be included in that engine. That means even more web browser users can see improvements, not just Chrome users.

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