The newest Chrome Beta channel release includes support for cooperative multitasking, splash screens for sites added to home screen, flexible desktop notifications, security fixes, and more. Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to Chrome for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Splash screens on Android

Mobile devices are typically less powerful than desktops, meaning apps can take a few seconds to load. Splash screens allow apps to show something meaningful to users as the app loads, improving perceived performance. The new version of Chrome for Android brings splash screens to web apps when a site is launched from the Android home screen. The splash screen is shown immediately, even while Chrome itself is loading. Developers can customize the splash screen by setting a name, icon, background color, and notification bar color in the web app manifest. The splash screen disappears once the web app begins to draw to the screen, providing a more polished loading experience.

Cooperative multitasking with requestIdleCallback()

To achieve a screen refresh rate of 60 frames per second, developers must guess when performance-critical tasks like rendering will finish and use timers to schedule around them. Unfortunately, developers can’t guarantee that low priority work won’t hurt performance because events like scrolling cannot be predicted. Now developers can explicitly set work to run during idle time using requestIdleCallback(). Functions registered with requestIdleCallback() are given a deadline and can return before that limit is reached to avoid jank. The function can register for another requestIdleCallback() to continue work during the next idle period.

Auto dismissing notifications

Push notifications have been enabled by service workers since Chrome 42. Sites such as social media or email can generate a large number of push notifications that take up screen space and aren’t particularly relevant unless viewed soon after posting. The new version of Chrome now allows developers to configure automatic dismissal of desktop notifications, improving the experience for these kinds of notifications. Sites can set NotificationOptions.requireInteraction to indicate the notification should remain onscreen until the user dismisses it.

Other updates in this release

Posted by Ross McIlroy, Scheduling Samurai