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28 January 2013, 11:57

Chrome for Android beta adds experimental SPDY/3 and WebGL

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Zoom Chrome for Android beta now includes experimental features
The latest beta version of Chrome 25 for Android includes support for the chrome://flags settings page which gives users the opportunity to test experimental features of the browser. These features include WebGL acceleration, experimental Webkit options, CSS Shaders and an implementation of the third draft of the SPDY protocol. Many options in the list are not available, however, with the item displaying a notice that the feature is not available on the platform. This includes the Native Client (NaCl), Portable Native Client (PNaCl) and Opus playback.

WebGL is a 3D rendering API that allows developers to access hardware acceleration features when writing web applications. The feature has been available in most modern desktop browsers for a while and the Chrome for Android beta now allows users to test it on their mobile devices. At the moment, support for WebGL within the Android version of Chrome is still in its early days and bugs are to be expected. In some initial tests, The H also noted that it seems to tax mobile device hardware greatly, a Galaxy Nexus phone becoming noticeably warm to the touch after just a few minutes.

Zoom The WebGL implementation is still buggy
Other features, such as CSS Shaders, are more usable in their current state. CSS Shaders were originally developed by Adobe to bring graphical filter effects, such as drop shadows, transformations and animations, to 2D graphics on web sites. Users who like the option to develop for and test cutting edge technologies, might find it useful to enable the latest Webkit features and support for Draft 3 of SPDY; this adds flow control to the higher performance alternative to HTTP.

The Chrome for Android beta is available through a direct link on Google's Play store; it cannot be found by simply searching for it in the Play application or store. As with all beta versions and experimental features, The H reminds users that this application should not be used in situations where security or stability is essential. The beta can be safely installed alongside the current release of Chrome for Android.


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