Google to shorten Chrome update cycle to four weeks

It will also lower the minimum price limit of Android apps, in-app purchases, and subscriptions in 20 markets.

Google has announced the regular version of Chrome will release new updates every four weeks, starting with Chrome 94 in Q3 2021. Previously, Google had been delivering new releases every six weeks, with smaller patches rolled out intermittently.

The decision to shorten the release cycle was due to it seeing improvements to testing and release processes for Chrome, Google Chrome Operations technical program manager Alex Mineer said in a blog post.

As part of the change, Google said it would offer a new extended stable version of Chrome, which will be available to enterprise administrators and Chromium embedders who need additional time to manage updates. This version of Chrome will provide milestone updates every eight weeks instead. 

While security updates on the extended stable option will be released every two weeks to fix important issues, those updates will not contain new features or all of the security fixes that will be provided to the four-week option for the regular version of Chrome. 

Google also simultaneously announced that it will lower the minimum price limit for products in 20 markets, allowing Android developers to set prices for their products at the 10-30 cents range to attract more customers.

"These ultra-low price points, or 'sub-dollar' prices, allow [developers] to reach new potential buyers by adjusting pricing to better reflect local purchasing power and demand," Google said in a blog post.

The markets to receive these changes to the minimum price limit for paid apps, in-app products, and subscriptions are Bangladesh, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark,  Hungary, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Myanmar, Pakistan, Paraguay, Romania, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Google also said various locations would be reclassified to being targeted and priced as part of a country instead, from March 24 onwards.

These reclassifications include Åland Islands being targeted with Finland; French Guiana, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Réunion, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna being targeted with France; Svalbard and Jan Mayen being added into Norway for targeting; and Faroe Islands and Greenland being slotted with Denmark.

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