Google launched its Chrome browser back in 2008 promising a faster and simpler way to navigate the web. Now it has launched a beta version of the browser for smartphones and tablets running its Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system.
Chrome for Android is something mobile phone and tablet users have been looking forward to for some time but for the moment it is restricted to certain countries and only to smartphones and tablets running Android Ice Cream Sandwich – which basically means only Galaxy Nexus owners will be able to take advantage at the moment.
The browser promises to let you navigate just as fast as on your desktop with top search results loaded in the background as you type so pages appear “instantly.” As with the desktop version of Chrome, both search and navigation can be done from the so-called omnibox.
Full tabbed browsing is supported and taking advantage of the touchscreen medium, you will be able to swipe or flip endlessly between tabs. Another feature is Link Preview, which does away with the pain of hunting for links on a web page by automatically zooming in on links to make selecting the precise one easier.
Google has also made moving between your desktop and portable devices simple. Signing-in to Chrome on your Android phone or tablet will let you view tabs you may have left open on your PC; get smarter suggestions for search results based on sites you visit regularly on your PC and of course it will let you sync bookmarks.
It is interesting that Google has decided to launch Chrome for Android at the same time as its desktop browser has declined in browser market share for the first time in two years. According to Net Applications, Google’s Chrome web browser dropped from 19.11 per cent in December to 18.94 per cent in January, The reason behind this is more than likely due to the controversy caused when it emerged that Google had paid bloggers to post a new video of Chrome on their sites. Google subsequently demoted Chrome in search results.
Chrome for Android is now available in Beta from the Android Market in select countries and languages for phone and tablets with Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.
Are you a Galaxy Nexus owner who has tried out Chrome for Android? Let us know your first impressions in the comments below.
Source: Google Mobile Blog