Google is working on a new cache that’ll take you back in time

Google is working on a new feature for Chrome that could make some page loads ridiculously quick, providing you get there going backwards.

Ok, let me explain. Google is hard at work on a new cache for it’s Chrome browser, currently dubbed bfcache (for back/forward cache) that lets the browser grab the entire state of a page, meaning when you hit your back button, you’ll go back to the page exactly as you left it.

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Currently, caching stores the images, JavaScript, and CSS that is used to build the page. However, the page still needs to actually be built, which involves reading the HTML, uncompressing images, executing code and generally following all of the instructions that it has always done. This creates a delay, albeit a small one, while everything kicks into gear.

Bfcache, meanwhile, can capture everything from mid-execution scripts, images, your scroll position and a bunch of other things, and serve it up as soon as you hit the back button, making it look like you’ve never been away.

It’s a little more limited than most file caches, as it will be specific to a single page and only accessible when you smash that back button, but Google has said that 10 percent of pages on the desktop and 19 percent of mobile pages are visited via the back button.

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Outside of speed benefits, this will also be better for battery life, although it’s unsure how noticeable an impact it will make considering all the other things slurping away at battery life. On the flip side, it’ll stretch Google Chrome’s memory problems even further.

Still, this is all stuff Google is working towards. Implementing the feature is likely to require a heavy overhaul as many features will need to be played with to accommodate the new feature.

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