While the official changelog merely says that “this version update includes a number of stability fixes and performance improvements” the Chrome Releases blog says it has more to do with adding support for the new Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 devices.
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Given that new versions of Android come with Chrome by default, this may be a little unclear. What I think Google is trying to say here is that Chrome for Android received improvements during the development of the new Android 4.2 devices from Google, and Google now wants to bring the improvements to all Chrome for Android users.
Google says that the new versions are as follows: 18.0.1025464 for ARM devices and to 18.0.1026320 for x86 devices. It’s worth noting that this is the first update for the latter; Chrome for Android on Intel devices was first released in late September.
Chrome for Android is still four versions behind Chrome for Windows, Mac, and Linux. In fact, Google Chrome version 23 is set to be released later this month, putting Chrome for Android even further behind.
Google has a Known Issues Web page set up for the mobile browser, but it has not detailed when it plans to speed up Chrome for Android development to catch up with Chrome for desktops, if at all. To help the company out, you can file a bug here: Chromium – Android issue.
As for the new line of Nexus devices from Google, they’re coming in less than two weeks. Their release should help Chrome increase its market share in mobile, something Opera should be worried about.
Image credit: Bruno De Lorenzo