Google Chrome 103 is now available. The new version of Google’s Chrome web browser introduces support for new pre-display technology, which Google says will significantly improve the loading speed of Chrome pages.
Chrome 103 is now available for desktop systems. The browser updates automatically on most systems, but you can speed up the installation of the new update by loading chrome: // settings / help in the browser’s address bar or by choosing Menu> Help> About Google Chrome.
Chrome shows the installed version of the page. It checks for updates and will download and install any update it finds.
Google has fixed 14 security issues in Chrome 103, including one that is critical.
Chrome 103: Preview of the same origin
The big new feature of Chrome 103 is that Google is re-prototyping pre-images in Chrome to speed up web page loading.
Even then, Google stressed that the new pre-retrieval technology uses less memory than the old one because of this. In a blog post on her developer blog, Chrome Developers contributor Katie Hempenius said that NoState Prefetch uses about 45 MiB of memory, while the classic pre-display is more than twice as much.
As long as memory usage is reduced, pre-display will not be used on low-end devices. Google does not give a clear definition, but devices with less than 512 megabytes of RAM are considered low-end by the company.
With Prerender2, Google is working to restore Chrome’s pre-retrieval functionality, but without the issues that include resource consumption and privacy and security issues with the previous system it uses.
We are working on a design to address these issues, which include unwanted side effects, resource consumption, low visit rates, privacy and security issues, and code complexity.
Prerender2 launches first in Chrome for Android, but desktop versions of Chrome will have the new feature integrated in the future.
Adventure Chrome users can enable certain flags in desktop browsers to enable this feature immediately. Note that some features may still not work as intended and errors may occur:
- Load chrome: // flags / # enable-prerender2 and set the flag to Enabled; this allows the new implementation of pre-rendering.
- Load chrome: // flags / # omnibox-trigger-for-prerender2 and set the flag to Enabled; this adds triggers to the preview address bar.
- Load chrome: // flags / # search-suggestion-for-prerender2 and set the flag to Enabled; this allows the new pre-display machine for search suggestions from the default search engine.
We’ve already reviewed the preview of the box for everything in Google Chrome. Pre-imaging2 is tested in contexts of the same origin only at this time.
Other changes to Chrome 103
The state of the Chrome platform lists several additions and changes in technology in Chrome 103. Remarkable from the user’s point of view is the addition of .avif files in Web Share and local access to fonts.
Sites can use the new Local Fonts Access API to list local fonts. Users must give sites explicit permission to do so, which reduces the use of the new API for fingerprint attempts.
Chrome 103 includes several changes that may be relevant to developers. The list is available here.
Now you: what is your attitude to these changes?