November 25, 2012, 2:45 P.M., Sunday, New York local time — Slow Google Chrome on your Google Nexus 4? Well, you’re not alone, and don’t worry, it’s not LG Mobile’s fault, it is a software issue. Luckily, similar to other software issues, the problem is easier to fix via software updates.
We’re all fans of the Chrome browser for Android, the ‘cards’ UI is a joy to use, nothing beats its sync functionality and webpages are rendered almost always perfectly but there’s just one thing we hate about it a lot, the only thing that we hate the most on any touchscreen device — lag.
If you’re an owner of a Nexus device (Galaxy Nexus or later) and you’re already enjoying the ‘buttery’ goodness that comes with Android Jellybean, we bet you have already encountered some serious lagging/slowdowns on the Chrome browser at some point — if not on a regular basis, luckily you’re not alone, as a matter of fact, if you try Googling ‘Chrome+lag+android’ you’ll be surprised to find out that there are tons of other people encountering this hair-pulling issue, some of them even own the Nexus 10 or Nexus 7 tablets which have very impressive spec sheets.
Even owners of the almighty Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S3 smartphones are also facing the same dilemma (quad core phones with a lot of number-crunching power) this can only mean that the lag on Chrome has nothing to do with performance-related issues from a hardware standpoint, there’s a bug within Chrome that’s keeping the Android Jellybean experience from being completely ‘buttery smooth’.
While digging the web for a temporary fix we ended up in a forum thread posted on XDA Developers wherein the topic discussed is no other than the annoying Chrome browser lag.
“It is caused by a functionality in Chrome Android called FlingCancel that is triggered at the start of a touch event, if the acknowledgement is not received it gets moved from the compositor thread to the webkit thread, but the browser is still waiting for the FlingCancel acknowledgement before it sends the touch response.” forum member Turbotab commented, ”This explains why some reviews thought that the very powerful Nexus 4 & 10 were laggy when web browsing”.
Surprisingly, Google marked the report as a ‘Pri-2′ issue instead of ‘Pri-1′ which is quite ironic given that user experience should be a top priority, not to mention almost everything on the Android Jellybean is now sailing smoothly with only the Chrome browser as an exception, which — by the way — is the dedicated web browser for Google’s latest iteration of the Android platform.
What’s funny is that the Chrome browser for iOS runs even smoother than Google’s own mobile operating system, if you have a friend who happens to own an iPhone, try checking out Google Chrome on his device to see just how fast, smooth and stable it runs on Apple’s mobile OS.
One poster did mention that the lag issue is purportedly fixed in a version that’s bound for release in January next year which is great news though we suggest taking this one with a grain of salt.
Google Chrome is currently the most popular desktop browser available for Mac and Windows users, it has overtaken Micorosoft’s Internet Explorer, Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari based on Wikimedia’s findings (October 2012).
Chrome for Android was first introduced back in February 2012, initially in beta stage, only smartphones powered by the Android 4.0 Ice Cream could run it since older versions lack the support for hardware-acceleration. Google Chrome is now the official internet browser of the Android operating system since the release of Android 4.1 Jellybean.
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