Chrome is great.
I mean, seriously who doesn’t like Google Chrome?
It has the charisma of Nelson Mandela, the flexibility of Boyanka Angelova and the speed of Usain Bolt…
. . .
Okay fine – nothing is as fast as Usain Bolt.
But occasionally Chrome puts me in choleric mood. It randomly crashes and has other vexing issues. Thankfully there are reliable ways to speed up Chrome on your PC but these tricks aren’t as easy to implement on your Galaxy S4.
Today I want to arm you with three power tricks for speeding up Chrome on your android smartphone.
You don’t need to root your device you should notice results immediately after relaunching Chrome.
Let’s get to it!
1. Disable click delay in Chrome
If you visit a website that isn’t optimized for mobile then the display window (technically called the viewport) is zoomed all the way out.
The result is microscopic text which requires that you either pinch or double-tap to zoom.
Google introduced a 300 millisecond delay to account for the double-tap to zoom gesture on non-mobile optimized sites.
But times have changed.
Despite the fact that less than half of the 1,858 survey responders in a 2013 Adobe study are developing mobile optimized sites, there are still more mobile first sites today then there were 5 years ago and the trend continues to search, based largely on consumer demand.
According to a 2011 Trinity Digital Marketing infographic, over 1.2 billion people are accessing the web from mobile.
In addition, page 18 of 112 of the 2012 KPCB report on Internet Trends, shows mobile internet traffic is poised to usurp desktop traffic. In fact, some analysts predict the eclipse will happen as soon as this year.
Check out the chart from Comscore:
My point is that Google recognized that web developers and designers were adjusting the changing landscape of digital consumption. People are consuming content from smartphones and tablets and we’re seeing a paucity of non-mobile optimized sites. This means you less people are having to double-tap-to-zoom. Mobile first sites make such gestures superfluous.
So the 300ms delay is superfluous too and can be disabled.
Now, 300ms may not sound like a lot but this little tweak can make the web feel slightly snappier.
To disable click delay, open Chrome on your phone and and paste the following address into the omnibar:
Tap the blue underlined Enable link and scroll down and touch the Relaunch Now button to commit the changes.
2. Enable Chrome Smooth Scrolling
If you screen chronically skips or stutters when scrolling this next setting will help your browser get its spunk back.
We’re going to give our voracious browser the thing all computers crave:
Paste the following address in the browser omnibar:
Now, tap the drop down box named Default
I set mine to 512 and this works for most people but if you have an emaciated Galaxy S4 starving for RAM try 256 first. (128 is the default).
After making the change restart your browser. You see an immediate improvement in responsiveness and speed.
Also please note that this won’t make your webpage render the screen elements faster but it will scroll about as smooth as spreading hot butter on a muffin.
And you know that’s pretty dang smooth…
3. Enable Offline Browsing
This last one isn’t really a speed trick but it’s worth noting since we’re already poking around the Chrome flags.
Paste this into the mighty omnibar:
Let me explain what this does and why you might want to enable it:
Here’s the scenario:
You’re on a date with the girl of your dreams and you’re trying really hard to impress her.
But this is the thing: she’s really smart. In fact, she graduated top of her class from an ivy league school, is a member of MENSA and understands game theory so well that it would make John Nash blush.
So how do you measure up?
Man, you’re a buffoon, an oaf, a complete imbecile.
It’s not that you’re stupid but when you’re around this girl she makes you feel dumber than a brick. But she’s hot so what the heck…
Anyway, you guys are in the midst of an invigorating conversation about astrophysics and the origin of the universe when she asks you what you think about the Kalam Cosmological Argument.
“So do you agree with Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle or dissent with their opinion?”
“I um… ”
She stares back at you fluttering her pretty eyes eagerly waiting to be enlightened by your lucid mind.
“I… hold on one second I need to take this call real quick”
You dart from the dinner table, sprint to the restroom and start Googling like you were the phone-a-friend on Who Want’s to be a Millionaire.
But your favorite site that has the answers, that you’ve visited before, won’t load.
It turns out a major media outlet promoted that site on live TV and an influx of new traffic crashed it.
So here’s my point:
If you enabled Offline Cache Mode in advance then you could have read the page even though the site was currently down.
Since you visited the site before, your browser had sections saved locally on your phone. But by default Chrome quits when it can’t resolve a website; it won’t tap into locally stored page elements unless you tell it to.
Offline Cache Mode forces Chrome to render the saved version of your site instead of displaying that ugly “the webpage is not available error”.
If had this enabled it would have saved your relationship man…
The Bottom Line
Why should the desktop version of Chrome get all the glory?
It’s a patent fact: mobile phones are becoming increasingly ascendant and people want to browse on the go. But over time stuff gets slow – that’s why I’ve armed you with three little known Chrome tricks to boost the performance of your smartphone.
When Chrome on your Galaxy S4 starts throwing a tantrum try this to speed it up:
- Disable Click Delay
- Enable Smooth Scrolling
- Enable Offline Browsing
If this helped you please share in the comments!