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Chrome for Android and Chrome OS will now refresh faster and more reliably

The Chrome browser
The Chrome browser (Image credit: Android Central)

It's more than a meme among update-seekers and auction snipers — it's one of the most regular actions we take online, and whenever we refresh a page, our browser takes much the same steps it's taken since the 90's. And that's not good, especially when we're on the go with our Android phones on sometimes-flimsy data connections. The Chrome team is changing page reload behavior in Chrome to account both for our changes in computing and why we're hitting F5 in the first place.

In an announcement on the Chromium blog, the team describes the burden traditional page refreshes can put on both the user's connection and the page owner's servers, leading to reloads crashing out or stalling, especially on mobile connections. In looking to fix this, Chrome first determined why we reload a page: either a broken page, or outdated content. Traditional reloads deal with the former, but not so much the latter.

Google claims the new behavior makes reloads 28% faster.

To improve the reload experience, especially in regards to stale and outdated content, Chrome is simplifying reload behavior to take advantage of cached resources, validating the main content on the page before continuing with a regular reload in order to cut down power and data usage, as well as speed reloads up.

Google claims the new behavior makes reloads 28% faster, citing a Facebook report that reports faster loads and 60% fewer static resource requests. Facebook's report goes into far more detail about the nature of reloads and the benefits they saw from Chrome's change without having to do anything to their code.

At the end of the day, this is great news for those of us who wear out our refresh keys making sure what we're looking at is current and that no one's scooped up all the tickets/eBay auctions/Steam codes we want.

Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.

4 Comments
  • Ara,
    Thanks for the info. It's good Google is taking care of this problem. Chrome has been slow in the paston all my Android devices. It seems to be faster now.
  • When will this update take place? The last time it was updated was December.
  • This sounds good, but I hope Chrome will alert the user to why the reload wasn't necessary, instead of simply not reloading. Otherwise, you're going to have people trying to reload multiple times because they don't think it's working.
  • Why does this matter?
    A well made webapp uses ServiceWorkers anyway...