The Google Chrome team has worked on a very old browser feature, probably as old as the browser itself; the reload button. With recent changes, Google claims to have made page reloads on Chrome 28% faster.
Google explains that the reload was designed long long ago when broken pages were very common. Users sees a broken page, and hits the reload button. Reload however was not efficiently using the page elements that already loaded fine. This has significant impact on mobile users. If you are a server admin however, this is much much bigger.
Here is how Google explains it:
Users typically reload either because a page is broken or the content seems stale. The existing reload behavior usually solves broken pages, but stale content is inefficiently addressed by a regular reload, especially on mobile. This feature was originally designed in times when broken pages were quite common, so it was reasonable to address both use cases at once. However, this original concern has now become far less relevant as the quality of web pages has increased. To improve the stale content use case, Chrome now has a simplified reload behavior to only validate the main resource and continue with a regular page load. This new behavior maximizes the reuse of cached resources and results in lower latency, power consumption, and data usage.
Here is how this change in action, before and after:
As I mentioned, server admins will appreciate this change more than users. Facebook contacted Google with data showing Chrome sending three times more requests compared to other browsers. With the new reload and some related changes, Facebook now shows 60% reduction in the number of validation requests from Chrome.
The Facebook team has documented this here in a very detailed blog post.
Source: Chromium Blog.