Chrome 27 and the BLAM! Factor

Category: Browsers

The latest version of Chrome (version 27 beta) has been released. Google is promising that their popular browser will display web pages 5 percent faster, a significant leap. Read on to find out what else is new in this release, and whether or not 5 percent makes any difference in real-world web surfing...

What's New in Chrome 27 Beta?

If you like to live on the cutting edge of Internet tech, you can download the latest Windows version of Google's Chrome web browser now. The Chrome 27 Beta claims some significant speed improvements, a few user interface tweaks, and some under-the-hood goodies for web developers.

Although web content is not actually downloaded any faster, the order in which page elements (text, images, videos, etc.) are processed results in a page that appears fully functional much faster. Google has tweaked the “resource scheduler” module of Chrome to be more aggressive about using an idle connection and “demoting the priorities of preloaded resources so that they don’t interfere with critical assets.” Or something.
Chrome Browser Faster

Setting aside the geekery, mere mortal users need only know that Chrome 27 Beta is significantly faster. To be perfectly honest, when I heard the 5 percent figure, I snickered. But it's my job to take these things for a test drive. I wasn't using a stopwatch, but in my testing, the speed improvement seemed like much more than 5 percent. After installing Chrome 27, and loading up a few pages, the first word out of my mouth was "BLAM!" :-)

Other improvements include a “more elegant” interface for entering dates on web forms; support for live audio input using the Web Audio API; and minor enhancements to the Chrome developer’s toolkit.

The date features involve the little calendar that pops up when you are asked to provide dates and times. It’s easier to flip through calendar or schedule “pages” and important dates such as national holidays can be located very quickly.

The Web Audio API is an HTML5 feature that enables users to input live audio from their microphones and other local audio sources to a Web browser. This enables applications such as sharing your karaoke with online friends. It was introduced to the Windows version of Chrome in September, 2012; Chrome 27 Beta improves the developer and user sides.

Coming Soon to a Browser Near You

Browser Market Share March 2013
Another addition that awaits developers’ implementation is the Sync File System API, which enables automatic synchronization of data files across multiple devices through Google Drive. Chrome 28 (coming in a few weeks) will be the first release to incorporate the "Blink" code base, which signifies Google's fork of the WebKit code that has been the foundation of both Chrome and the Apple Safari browser. By removing over 4 million lines of unused code, and making other changes that better accomodate multiple browser processes, Google is promising even more advances in Chrome's speed and security.

I switched to Chrome as my everyday browser over a year ago, after becoming frustrated with how Firefox would hog memory and slow to a crawl. According to StatCounter, Chrome is tops with a 38% global market share. Internet Explorer (29%) and Firefox (21%) have both been declining in popularity for over three years.

Chrome, IE and Firefox have all evolved greatly over the past 5 years, often leap-frogging one another in terms of speed, security, features and available addons. Chrome may be the fastest browser of the Big Three right now. If that’s enough to make you switch, give it a try.

Your thoughts are welcome on this topic! Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "Chrome 27 and the BLAM! Factor"

(See all 30 comments for this article.)

Posted by:

12 Apr 2013

We have an old and patched together system at our place and Chrome just does not play nice with much of anything here.
I have Chrome on my tablet at home and have the same problems with many sites that Annette says she has with bank site, so I will try clearing my browsing history and saved passwords and try again with those Credit Union and bank sites. Grrrr... totally frustrated with Chrome due to this kind of stuff and just quit trying to get into my accounts from the tablet. :

Posted by:

Don Shenton
12 Apr 2013

Correction: I use Opera, not Safari on my Acer Aspire One. If you know of a better one for limited resources, I would like to know.
Old age memory problems. Sorry about my mistake,

Posted by:

12 Apr 2013

I don't see what the big deal is. Browsers USED to be faster. :-)

Posted by:

12 Apr 2013

Internet Explorer is best for streaming video on low powered Netbooks.

Posted by:

12 Apr 2013

I need Chrome, however it will not let me view my temp files in Ccleaner. Pity. Best regards, john.

Posted by:

12 Apr 2013

I've used Chrome for a while. Almost stopped when I was constantly getting messages that Shockwave has crashed. That's stopped so I'm back with Chrome.

Posted by:

12 Apr 2013

I think there is a lot of imagination at work here. I have just used three different browsers to visit the same web sites and cannot discern any great difference in speed. Try Slim Browser. It might surprise you.

Posted by:

12 Apr 2013

Every time I try to use Google Chrome I walk away from it highly disappointed for some reason. Admittedly, Chrome 27 is FAST! But there's no toolbar . . . what's with that? Maybe some folks don't use their toolbar, but I do for various reasons. Again . . . highly disappointed. If they do bring back the toolbar, I'll reconsider reloading Chrome 27 again.

Posted by:

12 Apr 2013

Thanks for all your good work Bob.
I have been using gmail since 2005 and chrome as my preferred browser for many years. Recently I have had problems attaching documents to my emails, so have had to open gmail in IE in order to attach them. Very frustrating, so I hope that the new version will have fixed this.

Posted by:

13 Apr 2013

I've been using Chrome for a while now but find I still need Internet Explorer for some websites. Has that been fixed?

Posted by:

Lee McIntyre
13 Apr 2013

Bob, you commented, "Mozilla may be 'non-profit' but they still rake in a ton of money. Over $100 million annually, and about 95% of that comes from a contract with Google."

I realize this is a bit off-topic (as was your comment ) but as a founder, former board member and former president of a non-profit - 501(c)(3) - corporation for more than three decades, I'd like to clear up a common misunderstanding.

Many people think a non-profit organization is supposed to just "break even." Not necessarily. "Non-profit" means that the profits of the organization do not go to the benefit of an individual, beyond that individual's compensation package, which must be "usual and customary" by IRS standards. Board and officer compensation, and the compensation of the corporation's highest-paid employees, must be reported to the IRS annually.

So what happens to the "ton of money" a non-profit may earn? The IRS allows it to keep a "reasonable" amount in reserves, and the rest must be plowed back into the programs the non-profit operates.

In the case of Mozilla, I suppose (without reading their charter or articles of incorporation) their programs involve the development of Internet-based communications program, including web browsers, e-mail clients, etc.

Many non-profit organizations are "rich," but you probably won't see those huge bonuses for the CEO that you find in the for-profit arena, unless the bonuses are "usual and customary" in the non-profit marketplace. Even then, the organization will have to make its case, if it is selected for audit.

... At least that's how it was when I was at the helm of a small one in Southern California.

Posted by:

Lee McIntyre
13 Apr 2013

Bob, I know you use Chrome, and I believe you also use the RoboForm password manager. That raises a question: I haven't tried the new Chrome 27 Beta, but with Version 26.0.1410.64 m that I'm trying out, RoboForm loads ONLY as a lower toolbar, and it obscures or eliminates the browser's status window. Normally, if you hover over a link on a web page, you'll see the actual URL appear in the status bar.

But apparently not with RoboForm installed.

I hate to have to choose between RoboForm and the status bar. Have you found a way to have both?

Posted by:

13 Apr 2013

I've been using Chrome exclusively (still have an updated version of Firefox as a backup) for 3+ years now, and have been happy with the results. I usually avoid updating to a Beta version, but your comments led me to try this one, and it's great! Thanks for the heads-up.

Posted by:

13 Apr 2013

I happen to really like using Chrome. I think it is the fastest out of the browsers that I have used so far--IE and Firefox.

I don't have many problems with Chrome.

I have tried using Firefox many times, and i personally don't care for it. I think that it has too many bugs happening with it, and I find the constant upgrades to be annoying.

Posted by:

13 Apr 2013

I downloaded and installed Chrome about 6 months ago. When I tried to launch it, Spybot S&D blocked it claiming it was a virus. I posted the problem to Google's forum and was shot down as being a dummy. I let Spybot uninstall the 'problem' program and continued with Firefox.
Yes, when it comes to this crap I AM a dummy. That's why I read Bob's newsletter. I'm trying to learn but the stuff keeps changing faster than I can learn it.

Posted by:

Bob Levy
14 Apr 2013

I used to LOVE Chrome until it started flash crashing and consuming (in the process) way to much CPU. I switched back to FF and flash crash ALMOST eliminated - acceptable level. I later found a great FF Addon that disabled flash and presented an option on each page that had a flash object. I will trry Chrome again, because I do miss it.

Posted by:

15 Apr 2013

I have tried to at least like Chrome. I've failed. I just don't care for the UI. Chrome doesn't work well on my favorite browser game either.

I use it sometimes, especially when I don't want the site credentials saved by Firefox. I am sticking with Firefox for the moment simply because I like the interface far better.

May have to switch someday, but I suspect it won't be any time soon.

Posted by:

19 Apr 2013

I hope the new Chrome works better with Adobe Flash. You Tube videos and similar flash video sites, stutter, pause, and lag constantly.
For me Chrome and Adobe Flash is a bad mix, and I find myself using IE more and more, where viewing flash videos is flawless.

Posted by:

25 Apr 2013

Until recently, I used Opera because Firefox would not run on my Win 7 machines properly, and Chrome became a memory hog. Unless this new Chrome version improves on memory, I won't touch it. It's unnerving to see all those Chrome processes in the Task Manager, eating up all that space.

Then something happened. Opera became another memory hog and slowed down tremendously. I read where the latest Firefox release finally addressed its memory problems. I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it. One trick it uses is not to populate every tab when you open it, just the one you're focused on. Firefox freezes at some point when it apparently needs to clean something up, but other than that, I find Firefox to work very well.

Unless Chrome changes its ways, I won't bother with it.

Posted by:

29 Apr 2013

Let's say it is a 50% improvement. So I spend 5 seconds instead of 10 to display a page and then 3 minutes to read what is on it?

Anyway, PC Pitstop has in its hands a much better way to improve the loading speed of pages. Get rid of the 'Article continued here" nonsense and link DIRECTLY to the article. Loading time will be twice as fast, on any browser.

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