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Google's Latest Chrome Caching Feature Turbocharges Your Browsing Experience

Chrome
Chrome is on its way towards becoming a much faster browser than it already is, though there is a caveat—the upcoming speed boost applies to previously visited webpages, as Google's developers are exploring a new back-and-forward cache scheme that will make navigating back and forth "very fast," the company says.

"A back/forward cache (bfcache) caches whole pages (including the JavaScript heap) when navigating away from a page, so that the full state of the page can be restored when the user navigates back. Think of it as pausing a page when you leave it and playing it when you return," Google developer Addy Osmani explains.

This new scheme caches entire web pages for faster access. It won't make navigating to a new page any faster than it already is, but for going back and forth, which is pretty common when surfing the web, Google claims this change could improve performance by up to 19 percent. That figure does not tell the whole story, though. Here's a side-by-side comparison that shows how much faster it is in actual usage...

Implementing this change is "not a trivial endeavor," but it sounds as though Google is hopeful it will be accomplished. Furthermore, the alteration to back-and-forth cache would apply to all navigation on both desktop and mobile versions of Chrome.

That said, Chrome is a bit behind the curve in this regard. Apple and Mozilla have already implemented a similar technique into Safari and Firefox, respectively. Google is being extra cautious in bringing a better caching scheme to Chrome due to security concerns.

"Chrome is opting not to use WebKit’s implementation of bfcache due to incompatibility with Chrome’s multiprocess architecture," Osmani explains.

Osmani told CNET that he hopes to test bfcache in 2019 and implement it into Chrome in 2020, so it could still be a year or more for this benefits the general public.

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