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


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Google’s Chrome web browser is getting a speed boost. According to a news announcement out today, Google has made several under-the-hood performance improvements to its popular browser, leading to a significant new performance milestone across Mac and Android. Collectively, a series of adjustments gave Chrome a 10% increase on Apple’s Speedometer 2.1 browser benchmark over the course of three months, Google says.

The changes involve 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 as to how the speed improvements were accomplished, many will care to see their browser get faster.

Despite user complaints over the years about Chrome’s growing sluggishness, Google’s browser still runs away with a large majority of the web browser market share. Per Statcounter’s March 2023 statistics, for example, Chrome is pulling in 64.8% of global market share, while its next closest rival, Safari, is at just 19.5% across all platforms. On the desktop alone, Chrome’s share is even higher — 65.8%, trailed by 11.12% for Edge then 10.91% for Safari.

Image Credits: Google

In a blog post, Google explained exactly what sort of tweaks it made to achieve the new milestone.

It said it found some targeted optimizations for the highly-used JS `Object.prototype.toString` and `Array.prototype.join` functions, specifically. It also implemented targeted improvements in CSS’s InterpolableColor. Additionally, the company noted that `innerHTML` is a common way of updating the DOM via JavaScript so it introduced specialized fast paths for parsing.

Another improvement involved more efficient pointer compression and involves better memory management techniques. This one impacts operations that take place frequently, leading to a more widespread performance boost. The post also talks about the relocation of frequently accessed objects — like JavaScript’s `undefined` — to the beginning of the memory bases, where they can be accessed with faster machine code.

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

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