On February 7th, 2012, Google announced the release of Chrome Beta for Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). This download is available in the Android market and was originally intended to be part of the ICS release that unfortunately didn’t make it in time. Since many people already use Chrome as their primary browser, it is exciting that it is now available for your favorite devices. In this article, I will talk about some of the new features that Chrome for Android offers.
To start, you can currently get Chrome for Android in the following countries: US, Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Japan, Korea, Argentina and Brazil. Hopefully more countries will have access in the future.
Speed: One of the best parts of Chrome for Android is that the already fast browser has been optimized for mobile and has been given even greater speed and simplicity. Gestures can be used to scroll and pages are loaded in the background while searching which allows pages to appear immediately.
Synchronization: The new single-sign-in feature will allow you to keep your favorites and browser settings synced across all devices so all of your information will always be available:
- Tabs that were left open on your desktop will be available on your device, so you can pick up where you left off.
- Bookmarks can be a synced so you will have your favorites when you need them.
- Autocomplete suggestions will be saved so you can spend less time typing out common phrases and previous queries.
- Support for Google Cloud Print.
Optimization: Since Chrome for Android has been optimized for your mobile device, it fits nicely onto your mobile screen. The tabs work like they should on the smaller screen and scale up to a larger screen tablet without trouble. Gestures can be used to open new tabs or move between them intuitively.
Privacy: When browsing sites where you want to keep your information private, you can use “incognito” mode so no identifying data is sent from your device. You can turn this on by tapping the Menu Icon -> Settings -> Privacy.
No Flash: Ok, so this isn’t really a feature, but Adobe has released a statement saying they will be working with Google on HTML5 support instead of Flash for mobile Chrome. The browser does come with the latest HTML5 support and features.
So, if you have an Android Ice Cream Sandwich device, get to the Android Market and download the Chrome browser so you can give it a try and get the fastest mobile browser in the palm of your hand. Remember, this release is a “Beta” so tread lightly but you should be pleasantly surprised.