Chrome updated with key background audio feature

Google released a nice little update for Chrome yesterday, bringing the app to version 23.0.1271.96 (yeah, I know right). The update only brings two changes to the popular iOS web browser: a fix for a character encoding bug, and the added ability to listen to audio playing from within the app while it’s in the background…

One of my least favorite things about the whole YouTube-app-getting-pulled-in-iOS 6 situation is that the new app, the one that is available in the App Store, doesn’t allow for backgrounded audio. My workaround for this has since been to use YouTube’s web app in Safari when listening to music, and it’s worked well for me.

Now, with this latest update, you can do it in Chrome too. Just start up any kind of audio — whether it be from YouTube, SoundCloud, or another source — and close down the application. Then, double tap your device’s Home button, swipe to your iPod controls in the multitasking bar, and you should see the Chrome icon.

I go back and forth between Chrome and Safari on my iPhone 5. I like Chrome for features like Request Desktop Site and Incognito, and I really like its ability to swipe between tabs. But unfortunately, all of the active web links in iOS open up in Safari, unless you happen to be jailbroken, so I’m forced to kind of use both.

At any rate, if the new background audio feature sounds appealing, you can grab the latest version of Chrome in the App Store, for free.