Google Chrome will soon be getting new feature updates every four weeks thanks to a faster release cycle.
Citing improved testing and release processes for Chrome, Google has decided to speed up the rate at which it pushes out major feature updates for its browser and will switch to a four-week release cycle down from six, starting with version 94 that’s arriving in Q3 this year.
“For more than a decade, Chrome has shipped a new milestone every 6 weeks, delivering security, stability, speed and simplicity to our users and the web,” Google’s Alex Mineer writes in the annocement. “As we have improved our testing and release processes for Chrome, and deployed bi-weekly security updates to improve our patch gap, it became clear that we could shorten our release cycle and deliver new features more quickly. Because of this, we are excited to announce that Chrome is planning to move to releasing a new milestone every 4 weeks, starting with Chrome 94 in Q3 of 2021.”
Google is also adding what it calls an Extended Stable option, which will provide milestone updates every 8 weeks. This will be available to enterprise administrators and Chromium embedders who need additional time to manage updates, Google says.
However, the Chrome extended stable version still will get a two-week security update to fix important issues. But the update does not contain new features, nor does it have all the security fixes of the 4-week version.
In addition to changing the life cycle of the Chrome browser, Google also plans to release stable version options of different lengths for Chrome OS. But the details will be announced later.
“For users on Chrome OS, we also plan to support multiple stable release options,” Mineer writes. “We’ll have more to share with Chrome OS administrators in the coming months about the choices you’ll have for milestone updates to your managed devices.”
Chrome 94 is currently scheduled for a stable release on September 21, 2021. The new release cycle will be applicable for all platforms on which Chrome is available: Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, and iOS.