Google updates Chrome for iOS with 70% fewer crashes, Spotlight integration and more

By , Jan 27, 2016


Google’s mobile Chrome browser was updated this morning in the App Store and the new release promises a whopping 70 percent fewer crashes along with a few other goodies, such as Spotlight Search integration.

Google said that the dramatically reduced crash rate is due to Chrome’s adoption of WKWebView, a rendering engine from Apple which was first introduced with the release of iOS 8 back in 2014.

In addition, this release of Chrome for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad should be faster overall, with JavaScript execution now “dramatically faster.”

Replacing the old UIWebView with Apple’s new WKWebView API, which allows third-party browsers to achieve the performance equivalent to Safari, has resulted in “dramatic improvements in stability, speed, responsiveness and web compatibility,” according to Google.

“Out-of-process rendering was one of Chrome’s earliest innovations, and we’ve always wanted to bring its benefits to our iOS users,” Google said.


“Unfortunately UIWebView, the component used to render web pages on iOS, is in-process, so that’s never been possible before. The introduction of WKWebView in iOS 8 gave us that opportunity, though migrating to the new framework brought significant challenges.”

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 10.51.51 AM

As the Octane benchmark scores attest (shown above), switching to background tabs will now cause pages to reload 25 percent less often and JavaScript performance is an order of magnitude faster.

Chrome 48 should also delight iOS users with smoother scrolling, improved responsiveness and enhanced web compatibility with support for features like IndexedDB and more.


Lastly, Google’s Data Saver extension for the desktop is now out of beta and can be found in the Chrome Web Store.

Google Chrome 48.0 changelog

Here’s everything Google updated and improved in this release of Chrome for iOS, which carries a build number of 48.0.2564.87.

  • This version uses WKWebView, the latest rendering engine from Apple, which should be faster and more stable. The crash rate was reduced by 70% and JavaScript execution is now dramatically faster!
  • Redesigned icons on the New Tab page: easier access to more of your frequently-visited sites
  • Spotlight integration: Drag down or right from the Home screen and search for your Chrome bookmarks


Chrome requires an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad with iOS 9.0 or later.

The app is localized in English, Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.

Grab Chrome for iOS at no charge in the App Store.

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  • igobythisname

    Thanks for the update! Any word on if third party keyboards are supported?

    • Dany Quirion

      Yes, requires ios 9.2 didnt you read?

      • igobythisname

        Gmail and/or Chrome stop supporting third party keyboards in iOS with one of their recent updates due to crashing.. I’m just asking to see if they removed that restriction.. you’re a d*ck and an idiot.

    • Guy

      I’m using SwiftKey has I type this in Chrome.

      • igobythisname

        Awesome, thanks! 😉

  • Anmol Malhotra

    It is still useless until they add content blockers support.

    • Guy

      Yes ad blockers is a game changer.

    • altechi

      Last I heard, content blockers is only a Safari thing. Google can’t do anything about it

  • Still no support for 3D Touch within Chrome?

    • 5723alex .

      Chrome support 3D Touch. You get voice search, new incognito tab, new tab.

  • 5723alex .

    Google has removed “Do Not Track” in this update.

    • Morgan Freeman

      Worthy to note that ‘do not track’ only applies to sites that actually adhere to that request…it’s not required, and Google themselves say they don’t honor it. Lovely, eh?

  • Blacklight: Retribution

    Chrome may be my most used browser.

  • ohh. chrome on iOS is just a skin for Safari with google sync

  • totallymichael

    I would love to use Chrome, but the fact that it has to reload every single page even when going back is too annoying. I’m on an iPhone 6. Does this still happen with the 6S?