Mobile sites will feel faster with the removal of artificial 300ms delay in Chrome Beta 32
The latest version of Chrome Beta will feel much faster when you browse mobile-optimized websites thanks to the removal of an unnecessary delay between taps and responses.
Currently, every time you tap a link, form, or other element in Chrome (and other browsers), there’s a 300-millisecond delay before the browser reacts to the tap. This is necessary to allow double-tap to zoom or pinch to zoom gestures. The system basically waits for a third of a second to make sure you didn’t actually mean to make a zoom gesture.
While the delay is necessary when you browse a site that is not optimized for mobile, having it on a mobile-friendly site (with a fixed width that is not larger than the screen width) is pointless. As a result, the Chrome team removed it.
While the delay is necessary when you browse a site that is not optimized for mobile, having it on a mobile-friendly site is pointless.
Jake Archibald of Google’s HTML Rocks project was the first to talk about the change coming to Chrome 32 and what it means for developers and users. Archibald put together the demo above, that really helps to show the major difference that the removal of the delay makes. You can access the test site from the video here.
As a side effect of the change, the double-tap to zoom gesture that some mobile sites allow, which currently zooms in by a small factor, will be disabled. Other mobile browsers may follow suite – according to Archibald, Firefox for Android has a bug ticket filed for the same improvement.
HTML5-based mobile apps should benefit the most from this change, which will help reduce the perceived speed gap between native and web-based apps.
If everything goes well, the optimization should make it to the stable version of Chrome in a matter of weeks. You can also get it right away by installing Chrome Beta from the Play Store.