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Android Chrome Even Faster Than When I Reported It Was Much Faster Yesterday, Still Unusable

Chrome on Android is a crapload faster than when I last bashed it.

Check this out, lay plastic tarp everywhere because your mind will be blown shortly: fire up Chrome Beta, in the address bar put in chrome://flags/ and hit enable, Relaunch Now, start surfing around. Your Google-Chrome-wallpaperphone’s browser, instead of doing hundreds of individual request and DNS lookups when viewing a fine site like WMPoweruser, instead holds an encrypted connection to a Google server open using a SPDY proxy server Google runs. That server uses Google’s PageSpeed libraries, handing data to your browser it assembles by multiplexing multiple requests to stream to your phone in parallel, with all the DNS lookups taken care of by the proxy, transcoding images to WebP, gzip compression on err’thang and minification performed on all CSS, HTML and javascript over one single TCP connection, not 258 plus a few dozen DNS lookups and 80% CSS irrelevance.

Think of it like a human translator who can tell you what some foreigner is going on about while the guy is still talking instead of waiting for him to finish his schpeel, then proceeding to produce the translation. I think that’s what’s going on here. Not sure. Also, the translator paraphrases in a manner that loses nothing of value. Also, it’s a female translator who’s really fit, but fit in a sexy way, you know? Yeah, you know.

It feeds you encrypted data, the only thing it doesn’t touch is your HTTPS data. You know, out of respect for your privacy. WebP can crank down a PNG by 45% losslessly, says Wikipedia. WebP on average with roughly the same quality can express almost 3x as many pixels of about the same quality (depending on the size of the file) per byte, says Google Code’s study. You can see for yourself how much data the browser is saving you by going to chrome://net-internals. All this magic combined Google says it’s serving you images with 80% size reduction. Image quality? Go ahead and try your own taste test, I ain’t got time fo dat.

The nerds of the web, depending on the target website, are seeing an average data savings of about fifty to sixty percent, on par with Opera Mobile’s Turbo feature. Additionally, though I couldn’t find specifics regarding why or how, sites including Google Operating System (unofficial blog) claim that Chrome’s use of SPDY and proxies is somehow faster than Opera’s methods. But stuffing that data through a SPDY proxy connection in one connection in these manners surely saves time and battery in addition to costing you less bandwidth. Sound about right to you, Jim?

That, on top of other Chrome tricks like its smart and lucky prefetching, plus the rest of the great features of Chrome, would make it my default browser, were it not for still-present dealbreakers like no text reflowing, scrolling stutter and funky form activity. Oh well.

So fellas, let the bashing begin, hmm let me help you get started. How about .. This is just another way for Scroogle to spy on you, Google is totally ripping off Opera, bogus claims about WebP compression performance and quality retention, calling BS on Google’s claim not to hand off your HTTPS data to its data mining chambers, maybe something about IE10 hardware acceleration — is that basically it you punks, is that all you got, you and your fruity Live Tiles and Disqus app “exclusivity” you won’t shut up about? You could just admit that this is badass and that you’re jealous so we can move on.

Doug Simmons