chrome 59, Chrome, Google Chrome, Google

The latest Google Chrome update is aimed at solving one of the most frustrating annoyances of viewing web pages on a mobile device. If you have ever viewed a website on your smartphone, which I assume every Internet user has, then you’d have noticed the page jump from one point to another out of the blue. This problem is now being eliminated, thanks to the introduction of a new scroll anchoring feature.

As for the page jumps, the website would just unexpectedly scroll to another point of the web page while you’re reading because the content did not finish loading. This means your web page (or the content) usually gets pushed down as the elements off-screen are steadily loading, especially on a spotty internet network in India. This problem hampers the mobile web browsing experience most. And that’s because the viewing experience on mobile devices with small screens is already a compromise.

These annoying page jumps typically happen when the website inserts an image or other content above the visible area, pushing down what’s on the screen.

But, this frustrating problem has been fixed with a recent Chrome update and it is now rolling out widely to all users on Chrome 56 or later. Called Scroll Anchoring, this feature first appeared in a beta update last year and is aimed at locking the content you’re currently looking at the screen on your device, be it running Android, Windows, Mac, Chrome OS or even Linux. This means the browser locks your scroll position to an element on the screen to keep you pivoted while the off-screen content continues to load.

In the official blog post, Googler Steve Kobes says that it is one of those features that’ll most likely go unnoticed to the average human and that’s the beauty of it. The feature is already saving you from annoying web experiences and is expected to get better in the future. Further, he continues to add,

Scroll anchoring is one of our favorite kinds of features—those that shine when no one notices them. Today we’re preventing an average of almost three “jumps” per pageview, and we’re still getting better.

Since the web in itself is complex in its expressiveness, there might be some instance when the scroll feature might misbehave or is completely unwanted. Thus, the Chrome team is handing over charge to the developers who want to overide this feature using CSS property called ‘overflow-anchor.’ And to further prevent this feature from killing your website experience, scroll anchoring is also disabled on complex interactive layouts via suppression triggers, and on back/forward navigations to allow for scroll restoration.

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