The Omnibar, a unique tab style, an impressive collection of extensions and seamless bookmark syncing are just some of the features that make Google Chrome many people’s favorite desktop web browser. So, it was big news when Chrome’s official client was released for Android a few months back. The app had its fair share of disappointing aspects (mainly the lack of Flash support and the missing extensions), but overall, Chrome users just loved it. It hasn’t taken Google too long to release an iOS version of the Chrome app as well, and now, you can enjoy the browser fully on your iPhone and iPad. The iPad variant of the app emulates the desktop browser pretty closely, while the iPhone one is charming in its own way. When it comes to features, the app offers real-time bookmarks and tab syncing. This means that if you are signed in to your Google account on both your mobile and desktop, the app will mirror the current state of your desktop browser. Chrome for iOS also supports the popular incognito mode, making it a worthy match for Mobile Safari.
Before we start telling you about all the good stuff in the Chrome app, let’s tick off all the negatives. It is a well-known fact that on desktop computers, Chrome is among the fastest browsers, but sadly, the iOS app is rather slow at rendering pages. This is due to the fact that because of Apple’s restrictive (read: ridiculous) policies, Google was confined to using Apple’s rendering engine instead of their own faster one. Having said that, the Chrome app is only slightly slower than Safari. The app itself is pretty refined and efficient, although there are a few minor issues (for example, the thumbnails in the new tab page did not get refreshed until we re-launched the app on our iPad). Apart from that, everything is pretty smooth.
The first step to begin using the Chrome app on your iPad or iPhone is to accept the Google terms and conditions, and it is better if you choose to sign in to your Google account (although it is possible to skip that). You will need to be logged in to your account if you want to enjoy all the syncing features of the app. There are two syncing tabs in the Chrome app, including Bookmarks and Other devices. The Bookmarks tab lists the favorite items on your iPad or iPhone, and the current activity from your computer can be viewed in the Other devices tab.
You can open a new incognito window in Chrome through the Settings menu of the app. In the iPhone version of Chrome, there is a small tabs button in the top right corner rather than visible tabs. The iPad app lets its users navigate between tabs by swiping at the edges of the screen when multiple tabs are open. All the other options offered by Chrome (like clearing browsing history and managing your bookmarks) are available in the settings menu.
Chrome for iOS is better than Safari in many aspects (like its tabbed browsing on iPad and the overall interface), but a few speed enhancements would have made it just about perfect. The Chrome app is universal, and you can download it for free from the link below.