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Google Launches Chrome 51 For Android: Buh-Bye For Good, Merged Tabs

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Google's Chrome 51 for Android update has been released to the public, and it should be popping up on most Android devices as the days arrive.

The new update features the highly anticipated removal of the previous Merged Tabs feature. Users found this option annoying rather than handy and had to disable it most of the time.

The Merged Tabs feature was shipped alongside the Android Lollipop update and featured the option to display individual open tabs in the Chrome browser alongside recent apps. The option was enabled by default and had to be manually disabled if users wanted a more orderly recent apps list.

Other features that Chrome 51 brings with its update are the Credential Management API, Intersection Observer API, reduced offscreen rendering and improved WebAudio support. These updates efficiently reduce the amount of stored energy Chrome for Android requires as it effectively handles workloads brought about by the user's browsing.

According to Android Headlines, the Credential Management API does not only allow stored passwords on end user side but also adds a bunch of developer side features. These include upgrades that allow "custom login flows, remembering federated identity preferences, and general interaction" overhauls that give developers the necessary tools to enhance user experience on their sites.

The Intersection Observer API reduces the amount of janking or whenever a page takes a second to scroll before responding to a user's swiping gesture. Sites can now "detect element intersections as an asynchronous event," as aptly explained by VentureBeat.

"Sites can receive a callback whenever any element intersects a watched element or its children. Providing viewability information in this way eliminates the need for costly document monitoring. In short, sites no longer need to implement this functionality with custom JavaScript, and they gain the benefits of improved page load and scroll performance with support for passive event listeners," VentureBeat further describes.

Reduced offscreen rendering basically disables the loading of certain parts of a webpage, thereby reducing the consumption of bandwidth and energy. Specifically, these are the areas that use requestAnimationFrame() or "cross-origin" frames not displayed on the screen such as videos, ads and social widgets. This improves the app's response time as minimal work is needed to handle and display the contents of a webpage.

Improved WebAudio is achieved through Google Chrome 51's implementation of the same media processing workflows that a desktop Chrome performs. Sites now have the ability to understand a user's playback rate and thus adjust its transfer rate accordingly.

For users who haven't received a notification of the new update, Chrome 51 can be manually triggered through the Google Play app and accessed via My Apps.

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