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Finally, Chrome for Android updates

Months after its last update, Chrome for Android gets a big bump that includes a multitude of under-the-hood improvements.

Seth Rosenblatt Former Senior Writer / News
Senior writer Seth Rosenblatt covered Google and security for CNET News, with occasional forays into tech and pop culture. Formerly a CNET Reviews senior editor for software, he has written about nearly every category of software and app available.
Seth Rosenblatt
Chrome for Android.
Chrome for Android. Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET

Chrome 25 for Android (download) finally gets another update, this time bringing numerous fixes to stability, speed, and overall browser behavior.

The last time Chrome for Android updated was November 2012.

In the interim, Google has been building significant backend improvements for the browser. In its blog announcing the Chrome update, Google programmer Jason Kersey revealed the changes but with few details.

The biggest improvement that Chrome fans will appreciate is the update to the latest version of V8, Chrome's JavaScript engine.

Other changes include better responsiveness when using pinch-to-zoom; improved scrolling performance; expanded support for HTML5 changes since the November release; and a permission change that allows Chrome to pause audio when the dialer and phone functions are in use. Audio will continue stream from the browser even when it's in the background, except for the phone function.

Chrome continues to have a relatively small percentage of the Android browser market share, but that's expected to change as more Android devices ship with Jelly Bean, the only version of Android that offers Chrome as the default browser.