QuirksBlog - Chrome
Part of Browsers.
Last week Niels Leenheer of HTML5 Test told me he’d released a simple Android app that mimics a browser but runs in the device’s WebView. This is ideal for testing WebViews, a topic I’ve ignored so far.
I downloaded the app to all my Android 4/5 phones except for the Huawei C8813 (Chinese firmware) where Google Play won’t run, and the LG L5, where the app crashes when you try to load a page, and catalogued which browser the WebView is (or purports to be). Here are the results:
Google Chrome is not the default browser on Android 4.3+. There are now at least eight Chromium-based Android default browsers, and they are all subtly, though not wildly, different.
The number of Chromium family members has recently risen from nine to eleven with the addition of HTC and LG Chromium, default browsers for modern HTC and LG high-end devices.
Moreover, LG uses at least two different versions (30 and 34) concurrently, while HTC replaced Android WebKit by HTC Chromium over the air. As far as I know none of this has been done before — so far.
In order to prove that they’re different we will study zoom reflow, a feature that HTC and Xiaomi support, but the others, including Google, don’t.
This week I finally gathered the courage to run the media query test suite I wrote over a year ago in the latest crop of mobile browsers. The results are moderately interesting, especially when it comes to Chromium-based browsers. I discovered a new one: Xiaomi Chromium. It’s the ninth I identified, and the first one I had to work really hard on in order to get a version number.
For at least a year now I’ve held to the theory that the huge uptake in Chrome we’re seeing on the mobile web is mostly due to Samsung using its own version (based on Chromium 28) in its high-end smart devices from the Galaxy S4 on.
Yesterday Krijn started tweeting about mobile stats he had, and it turned out he was willing to share. He gave me data on about 100K mobile and tablet hits in Q2 on a project of his he’s worked on for
ages five years. I took the data gratefully and created a table.
Conclusion: Of Chrome users, 25% uses Samsung Chrome — this amounts to about 5% of all mobile visits to the site. On the one hand this proves that Samsung Chrome is a Thing — on the other hand I had expected a much higher percentage. So my theory isn’t right, but Samsung Chrome is still important.
By default, if you tap on a touchscreen it takes about 300ms before a click event fires. It’s possible to remove this delay, but it’s complicated. I investigated it.
Today, quite by coincidence, I found out that the Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4, as well as the LG L5, have Chrome pre-installed next to their default browsers. I have no clue what’s going on and would like a clarification from the Chrome team.
A few more Blink-related links. (This article’s title was
stolen borrowed from Thomas van Zuijlen.)
So Google created Blink, the new rendering engine for Chrome and Opera. What exactly is going on, and what will the consequences be?
When I reviewed the reactions to my There is no WebKit on Mobile post, it became pretty clear that few had expected its conclusion that there is no single WebKit on Mobile. Overall, it seemed that most people were pretty surprised, and hurried to revise their ideas of the mobile browser market. That was the point of the article, so I was happy.
(I’m still tinkering with the interface, by the way, and I didn’t have the time to finish my current revision. So the coloured bars are temporarily gone, but they’ll return in the future.)
Last week I spent a lot of time on WebKit in order to produce a comprehensive comparison of all WebKits. My purpose was to prove there is no “WebKit on Mobile,” and to gain some more insight in the complicated relations between the various WebKits.
Therefore I now present the Great WebKit Comparison Table. In it I compare 19 different WebKits on 27 tests.
Well, Google Chrome Frame has certainly taken the web dev world by storm. It’s almost as if people are fed up with Internet Explorer and welcome an alternative.
Many useful things have already been said about Frame. I’d like to add a few technical notes I haven’t yet encountered anywhere else.
There’s some browser news to discuss, and I thought I’d bundle it all in one entry. Maybe I’ll even do this more often; it seems a good feature for this blog. But I’m not promising anything!
This weekend I started testing some new browsers, and meanwhile I’ve updated the HTML and CSS tables. There were no surprises. I’m continuing with the Events tables, but they’re so large and sometimes so complicated that I’m not sure when I’ll finish.
In this installment we’ll take a look at IE8RC1 and some reactions to it, Safari 3.2, Chrome’s lack of a “Check for updates automatically” feature and Opera’s antitrust complaint.
In case you’re wondering why this blog is updated so rarely; I’m taking a slight break from
web development, and I’m working on a major upgrade of my Dutch politics section.
It’s not ready yet; I’ll let you know when it is.
However, while working on it I found a few browser peculiarities, and I thought I'd let you know. There’s
one IE bug; one case in which IE does the right thing and the other browsers don’t; the third is a Chrome
peculiarity (not a bug); the fourth is an undocumented property in Opera.
Just downloaded Google Chrome and did some very brief tests. Rendering engine seems equal to Safari 3.1, as expected. There will be a few minor differences somewhere; I’ll let you know when I find them.
Feels light, quick.
It features a quite slick-looking Firebug clone that includes a YSlow clone. Right-click and select "Inspect element" to access it. Haven’t tried to actually debug with it yet, but it looks promising.
The important points in the Google Chrome story, however, are not about DOM and CSS compatibility, and not even about debugging tools.
John Resig and Alex Russell discuss some ways in which this release could be the start of a new browser war. (Contrary to what Opera states, it hasn’t quite started yet.) I also have a few points to make, but that’ll have to wait for another time.
In order to find out which effect on the market it has, Chrome’s share will have to be measured. Updated browser detect. Detect it by searching for
Note to Google Chrome team: please make
navigator.vendor read "Google" instead of "Apple".
Which version number does it have? I can’t put a browser without a version number in my Tables.
Come to think of it, I haven’t yet found any way of disguising it as another browser to get around browser detects written by clueless web developers.
Come to think of it, I haven’t yet found a Preferences menu.
0.2 sounds about right.
But it’s definitely a promising start.