Chrome for Android Gets Improvements

John Lister's picture

If you use an Android phone, there's a good chance you use the mobile edition of Chrome to access web pages. If so, that experience is about to get a little safer and easier.

Google has unveiled a range of changes to Chrome for Android including enhances security checks, a display tweak that could extend battery life, and an easier "autofill" tool for online forms.

Safety Check Tools Added

The first change is the addition of Safety Check, a feature that's currently only available on desktop versions of Chrome. It makes it easy to carry out three basic checks:

  • Making sure Safe Browsing mode is switched on. This checks any address users try to access against a list of sites known to host malware or operate phishing scams.
  • Checking passwords saved in Chrome against a database of passwords publicly exposed in data breaches.
  • Making sure the latest version of Chrome is installed complete with any security updates.

Safety Check is currently in Android's Chrome "Canary", a version of the browser used for testing new features. That means that barring any serious problems, it should be in the standard version of mobile Chrome in the next few months. (Source:

The second change, also being tested in Canary, is a dark mode option for Google searches. It simply means search results pages will be shown with light text on a dark background rather than the traditional white on black. That may be easier to read for some users and will reduce battery drain, albeit only to a small extent in most cases. (Source:

Autofill Improved

Finally, Google is tweaking the Autofill feature that lets users complete a form field by tapping on a list of options. For example, an address field might bring up a choice of zip codes that the user has previously entered in to forms.

At the moment the list of options comes in a window laid on top of the page, which can be frustrating if it obscures the text underneath. A forthcoming update will change that so the list of suggestions appears at the bottom of the page. The trade-off is that users may need to scroll through the list rather than being able to see all the options at once.

What's Your Opinion?

Would you use any of the Safety Check features? Does a dark mode interest you? Do you find Autofill frustrating to use on phone screens?

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Focused100's picture

I'd use any security enhancements they offered.