Scrolling on Google Chrome is getting smoother in Android 14

August 10, 2023

Google just announced that they’ve revamped the users’ experience of scrolling on Google Chrome. It’s faster, smoother, and crispier.

In a recent update in the Chromium blog, the tech giant says that the browser will use a new algorithm to filter noise and reduce visual jumps in the content presented on screen. This will result in a smoother and more consistent scrolling experience, especially on high refresh rate devices, starting from Android 14 and Chrome 116.

In short, a new “nanosecond” API comes to Chrome (more other apps will follow), and it’ll feature better touch input sampling.

“In Android 14, the nanosecond API for java MotionEvents will be publicly exposed in the SDK so Chrome (and other apps with unbuffered input) will be able to call it. We also developed new metrics that track the quality of the scroll predictors frame, by creating a test app which introduced pixel level differences between frames (and no other form of jank) and running experiments to see what people would notice,” the update reads.

If you may remember, the previous method used by Chrome to sample input touches was limited to millisecond intervals. This was fine for most devices, but it could lead to janky scrolling on high refresh rate devices. The new nanosecond API will allow Chrome to sample input touches more accurately, resulting in a smoother scrolling experience.

“The moral of the story is: Sometimes metrics don’t cover all the cases and taking a step back and investigating from the top down and getting the lay of the land can end with a superior scrolling experience for users,” the blog reads.

Chrome 116 was just released in the early stable channel to a small percentage of users. Android 14 is currently in beta testing and is expected to be released this year.

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