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Google's iOS Chrome app is finally on par with Safari

While the Chrome browser is a favorite for many, iOS users have struggled with it due to its sluggishness and constant crashes. However, Google updated the app in January with much needed performance enhancements. The new version will likely please Chrome fans using the iPhone and iPad.

Chrome 48 for iOS now uses the same rendering engine as the Safari browser on iOS, which is WKWebView. We won’t get into the techno babble as to what exactly WKWebView is, but what we will tell you is that it brings stability and speed to the Chrome browser on iOS. In fact, Google claims that Chrome on iOS crashes 70 percent less than before, which is a major improvement.

Related: Safari is crashing today on Mac and iOS devices, but there’s a simple fix


In addition, Chrome is much faster and more responsive in this version, since it has an improved JavaScript execution. Google tested both browsers on iOS with various benchmark tools and found the new version of Chrome to be as fast as Safari. However, users on iOS 8 and below might find that Safari performs better.


Even though Apple introduced WKWebView when it revealed iOS 8, Google continued to use the older UIWebKit framework up until now. Unfortunately, the transition to WKWebView “brought significant challenges,” because it didn’t offer a simple way to manage cookies, and SSL handling was plagued with problems. However, Apple fixed these issues with iOS 9, enabling Google to make the necessary changes to Chrome.

This news comes in right as Safari users are reporting that Apple’s Web browser keeps crashing during searches. Although a fix was already issued, the timing is impeccable, since some users might try out Chrome from sheer frustration.

Related: Prank website causes Safari to crash and forces iPhones and iPads to reboot

You can download the new version of Chrome for iPhone and iPad from the App Store now.