Google Chrome to Get ‘5G Awareness’ on Android

Google Chrome is getting “basic 5G awareness” so that websites can identify if the user is using a 5G connection.

Basic 5G awareness

A code change request that I spotted today talks about adding 5G awareness to Chrome for Android:

“Allow basic 5G awareness for NCN: On devices and Android versions which support 5G, this allows the NetworkChangeNotifier to update the ConnectionType to 5G when observing use of a network of type NETWORK_TYPE_NR, which corresponds exclusively to 5G standalone networks.”

The feature request bug associated with this change has a bit more information:

“We should add 5G to this enum so that we can filter by 5G connections in Finch dashboard. The current APIs we use (NetworkChangeNotifierAutoDetect.java) to get connection type don’t have info on 5G, but Android 11 has APIs to reliably (e.g. not based on heuristics) figure out if the user is on a 5G connection: https://developer.android.com/about/versions/11/features/5g

The bug also talks about exposing this information to the web:

“expose this to the web (e.g. update https://wicg.github.io/netinfo/)”

Further, the bug adds:

“On devices and Android versions which support 5G, this allows the
NetworkChangeNotifier to update the ConnectionType to 5G when observing
use of a network of type NETWORK_TYPE_NR, which corresponds exclusively to 5G standalone networks.”

So, 5G awareness means detecting if the user is on a 5G network.

Summary

Google Chrome on Android will soon be able to identify if you are using a 5G network. It might take a while for the feature to land in the Stable version of Chrome.

How will this influence your browsing experience? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Source: Chromium Gerrit & bugs.chromium.org.

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