As promised by Google, the Beta offering of their Android-based Chrome Internet browser has quickly been enhanced with the addition of the singular most requested feature from other platforms: the Aw Snap! screen.
Aw Snap! is Chrome's attempt to add a little levity into the issue of web pages that do not act as expected by the browser. It comes complete with its own little icon of a deceased folder, and usually a message that suggests 'trying again' or something equally as helpful. Unfortunately it sometimes also pops up if the browser itself hits a problem.
For those who adopted Chrome as their PC browser three years or so ago, the Aw Snap! page is likely to be a familiar friend. Open enough tabs and leave Chrome to sit there for a while and you may well expect to see an Aw Snap! page appear.
Over the last few years this simple error message has gained the status of a comedy catchphrase among the kind of people that compare browser response times using a stopwatch, and believe it or not you can buy men's t-shirts and posters for your basement office depicting the page.
Now, due to massive popular demand, Google has added Aw Snap! to the Chrome browser on the Android platform designed for hand-held devices like tablets and mobile phones.
However, cashing in on the popularity of the phrase, they have engineered it to pop up as a bit of a joke at various times, with hilarious effect. Now, if a virus is detected you get an Aw Snap! If your inbox is full, you get an Aw Snap! If you try to display something in Flash, you get two Aw Snap!s. See? Hilarious!
And to propagate the catchphrase even further, Google have allowed the Beta update to poke the phrase into other applications on the device. We're talking Google Maps, YouTube, Facebook for Android, Pandora, Kindle, Skype, Tiny Flashlight and Facebook Messenger; all popping up with Aw Snap! from time-to-time, especially if they hit a snag. And naturally enough, if your crocodile doesn't get his bath in "Where's my Water" then you've guessed it: an even more appropriate Aw Snap!
Google know that demand for the Aw Snap! enhancement will be high, so they are rolling it out gradually as a selective update and without identifying the feature.
To check if you have a version of Chrome for Android that supports the extended Aw Snap! functionality, keep opening tabs in Chrome until you reach 100. Hit a limit? Just try again and keep going until you hit 100. Now, where it usually shows how many tabs are open, if you get a little smiley face replacing the icon, then unlucky - you have an unpatched version and you will have to wait for an upgrade.
This article was originally published in What Geek Magazine, and is reproduced here under a 'nobody normal and in their right mind gives a rat's arse about any of this load of old nonsense' licence.