Google wants to keep you a little safer on the mobile Web. An update to Chrome for Android adds support for the company’s Safe Browsing client, which warns you before trying to visit a potentially dangerous website.
If you use Chrome on full-sized computer, you might’ve come across the bright red warning screen that shows up when a site is likely to contain malware, phishing scams or is otherwise not safe to visit. That same red page will now show up on Android too.
As for why it’s taken so long, Google says providing protection on a mobile device is much more difficult, largely because it needs a lot of data to keep its lists accurate and up to date. Mobile phones generally have slower and spottier connections than PCs, and the connection costs more money or is often capped.
However, it’s worth noting Safe Browsing was already available as an opt-in feature since 2013. To bring the feature to mobile more devices, Google says it’s worked to compress the data as much as possible, and made the software to run it ‘extra stingy’ about memory and processor load.
The update arrived as part of the Google Play Services app, a piece of background software encompassing various Google-related features on most Android devices, though you’ll also need Chrome version 46. Google says most Android users will probably already have the update, but you can check under the privacy menu in the app settings
➤ Protecting hundreds of millions more mobile users [Google Online Security Blog]