Chrome for Android BetaAs part of its “release early, release often” philosophy, Google has now opened a Beta channel to allow it to release early versions of Chrome for Android. Google has had Beta and Dev channels for Chrome on PCs since the early days of its development. The new Android channel will allow keen users to try out new features, on their phones and tablets, along with those who use the Beta versions of Chrome for Mac, Windows and Linux.

The first version to hit the Beta channel is based on Chrome 25. You can download version 25.0.1364.8 from Google Play. The good news is that you can install both Chrome and Chrome Beta side by side on the same device. Google notes that you need to use the direct link to get the Beta as it won’t show up using the search function in Google Play.

The new Beta has a number of significant improvements over the current “stable” version of Chrome including better HTML5 support and JavaScript performance. However, using the Beta version won’t be without trial or tribulation. Google is already warning users of Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S devices that performance can be sluggish. Also the app can freeze on devices with certain versions of the Qualcomm GPU driver.

But, don’t despair, this is what being a Beta tester means! Google will be updating the Beta regularly and it recommends that you check the “Auto-update apps” checkbox to make sure you get the updates as quickly as possible.

Have you tried the Beta? If so then please let me know what you think about it.

Gary Sims
Gary has been a tech writer for over a decade. Prior to that, he had over 10 years of experience as a software engineer.