Update: Day 2 of Google I/O has brought some good news for iOS users. It turns out that they have been working hard at bringing Chrome for iOS devices too. It functions exactly like Chrome for Android does. The Chrome app is now available for download in the iTunes app store for Singapore.
Due to the open nature of the Android ecosystem, we've seen plenty of third-party browsers appear in Google's Play Store. Some of us may have experienced Chrome for Android on our Ice Cream Sandwich Android devices previously via a rooted Galaxy Nexus. Today, Google removed the "beta" tag that has followed the Chrome app for the past few months, and declared it ready for mass usage. Unfortunately, the new mobile browser is only available for devices running Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) and above.
When the Nexus 7 was revealed to the world during Google I/O day one, it was also made known that Chrome for Android would come pre-installed on devices running Jelly Bean (Android 4.1). According to ZDNet, developers for Android have also said that the ICS to JB OS upgrade would not pre-install Chrome for Android, and that Webview and the original Android browser would have their code converted to that of Chromium, effectively converging the two. Moving forward, Chromium code found in the Chrome for Android browser would be updated every 6 weeks, while existing code for Webview won't be.
If you haven't had a chance to experiment with Google's Chrome for Android, here are some of the features you can expect to see:
Search straight from the address bar (Omni Box)
- This feature should be familiar with Chrome for desktop users. Simply key in your queries into the Omni Box and the browser is smart enough to differentiate between a web address or search query.
Open an unlimited number of tabs, and closing them with a swipe
- Excellent tab management means that opening a large number of tabs won't slow the system down. Closing tabs here is also a pleasure. All you have to do is switch to tab view, and flick tabs (which look like cards) away.
Switching between tabs by swiping inwards from the side.
- You can also switch between tabs without going into tab view. Simply swipe from the left or right edge of the screen inwards, and you can easily switch tabs.
Syncing of open tabs, bookmarks and omnibox data
- This is an especially powerful and convenient feature for those who use the desktop Chrome browser. You can seamlessly switch between your PC or your mobile device because data like tabs, bookmarks and omnibox search history is now stored right in the cloud.
Incognito mode private browsing
- Users on the desktop Chrome browser are definitely familiar with this feature. The incognito mode allows guests to browse privately without leaving any traces behind.