Just a week after releasing the official Chrome 46 to the public, Google is now working on the next version of its web browser, which, in many respects, is more than just a web browser.

The 47th version of Chrome is now available to beta testers, bringing with it a number of developer-facing features to help them create better experiences for regular users when Chrome 47 rolls out to the public in the future. These include the ability to create splash screens in Chrome for Android, as well as a more flexible notification system and speedier animations thanks to a feature called cooperative multitasking.

Splash screens are introductory screens that users often see when they open apps. In the newest versions of Google's apps, users will find splash screens when they open these apps. Google says these make apps look like they're loading faster, even though they're really not.

"Mobile devices are typically less powerful than desktops, meaning apps can take a few seconds to load," says Ross McIlroy of the Chromium team. "Splash screens allow apps to show something meaningful to users as the app loads, improving perceived performance."

Chrome 47 now lets developers create splash screens for websites launched from the Android home screen. Developers can customize them to add a name, icon and background color, as seen below.

It also now allows developers to develop a better notification system for various web apps, such as social media and web apps. Push notifications first arrived on Chrome 42, which is useful but sometimes intrusive for some people. With Chrome 47, developers can let users choose to automatically dismiss these notifications or let them stay onscreen until they dismiss them manually.

Finally, Chrome 47 also lets developers set work to run during idle time instead of when users are interacting with the web browser. For end users, this means better support for 60 fps animations and overall better performance for Chrome.

McIlroy also details the rest of the developer-facing features for Chrome Beta 47 in his blog post. Interested users may download Chrome Beta from Google Play.

Photo: Maurizio Pesce | Flickr

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