Google has launched the long awaited iOS version of its Chrome web browser, bringing the popular app to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users.
Like other versions of Chrome, you can either type search terms or website addresses in the ‘omnibar’ at the top of the screen, perform a voice search, open unlimited tabs and rearrange the tab order.
As with Chrome for Android, you can use a swipe gesture to switch between open tabs.
One of the potentially most useful features is to be able to sync tabs,
bookmarks, omnibox history and logins from other Chrome browsers on any
number of your other devices.
You have to sign in to your Google account to be able to sync, and sign out if you need to disable all of those features in one go. Saved passwords can be set to on or off without signing out of Chrome, as can the Chrome-to-mobile feature. There is also an Incognito private browsing mode.
According to Google, which announced Chrome for iOS at the second day of its I/O developer conference in San Francisco, Chrome now has 310 million active users worldwide.
It’s the first truly major browser to land on iOS and compete on fairly even terms with Safari. However, it remains limited in some ways as you can’t set it as the default browser to open links from emails and documents.
As reported recently, Mozilla is also working on a Firefox spin-off designed especially for iOS, called Junior. These developments could either make Apple dig its heels in further or have a rethink about the default browser settings; after all, you can do what you like on OS X.
Google also announced Google Drive for iOS. As a rival to the likes of DropBox, Google Drive offers 5GB of cloud storage for free and lets you upload and share files across your devices or with other people.
Alongside these developments, Google revealed that Google Docs now has an offline editing mode, so you can create or edit any document (as long as you are using Chrome and the offline feature has been enabled so it stores a version on your device). Any changes will be synchronised automatically when you are back online.