In an effort to expand its dominance in the desktop Web browser market, Google is experimenting with a number of under-the-hood changes that dramatically improve the zooming experience currently offered in its Chrome browser. The current publicly available build of Google Chrome for Mac already offers a less than polished pinch-to-zoom type functionality, which ultimately gets the necessary job done but suffers from the fact that it only allows noticeably jerky 10% incremental zooms. Google’s latest build of Chrome Canary for Mac takes things to the next level by introducing a polished Apple Safari-esque zooming experience.
It’s no secret that Google’s Chrome browser currently commands the largest share of usage by browser type. In January 2015 alone, statistics show that 61.9% of browser usage was handled by Chrome, with Mozilla’s Firefox being the next in line with 23.4%. With that said, Chrome may be the most popular browser in existence at the moment but it has definitely been caught lagging behind the likes of Apple’s Safari when it comes to implementing polished features that dramatically promote a positive user-experience, such as this smooth zooming implementation.
Before we all get excited and rush to check for a Chrome update, it is worth reiterating that this latest feature addition is only currently present in the Canary build of the browser. Canary, for those that may not know, is designed for developers and early adopters as an opportunity to test new features and experimental improvements before they actually get added to beta and final builds made widely available to the public. Like with most experimental software, Chrome Canary has the potential to break down completely if something goes wrong, but does bring the added benefit of coming with frequent nightly builds that are always improving the experience.
It’s great to see that Google is finally adopting this level of functionality to add to the already impressive vast array of features that Chrome offers its loyal user base. With that said, it remains to be seen whether or not the addition of beautiful, smooth zooming will be enough to at least tempt devout Safari owners into jumping ship and testing out Chrome when the stable build arrives, even if it is a temporary change.
One of the biggest user bugbears with Chrome is that it is an insane battery hog when used on machine like the MacBook, and unfortunately that doesn’t seem to have changed just yet.