Looks like Mobile Safari has finally met its match, and if you don’t believe that, just take a look at the number 1 app in the Free section of the iOS App Store. In less than a week, the intuitive Chrome web browser for iPhone and iPad has managed to become the favorite iOS app of many users. People seem to absolutely love the fact that they can now literally carry the tabs from their desktop browsers right on their iDevice. Apart from that, there is the familiarity factor, as Google has kept iOS Chrome’s interface pretty similar to the desktop version. Having said all that, Chrome is still not perfect. For one thing, there is no simple method of making the app your default browser, and the browser can certainly use a healthy update, too. Luckily, you don’t have to wait for Google to roll out the app’s update in order to make the browser more awesome, there are a few Cydia tweaks available in the jailbreak store that will let you make some really useful changes to Chrome for iOS.
In case your love for Chrome is at a level that requires you to make it your default iPhone browser, Ryan Petrich’s BrowserChooser is just the tweak you need. Although the tweak is not developer specifically for Chrome, and you can use it to change your default browser to Dolphin, Opera and a lot of other apps, I doubt it will be used for many other browsers compared to Chrome. Despite being a free tweak, BrowserChooser is not available in any of the default Cydia repositories. You have to add the following repo to Cydia’s Sources before you can get you hands on the tweak.
Once installed, the tweak adds a new menu to the Settings app, where all the supported browsers that are installed on your iPhone are listed. If you don’t choose any browser as your default one, BrowserChooser will ask you to temporarily choose a browser each time you tap an external link.
One of the first things I noticed about the Chrome app was the new keyboard it has on offer. Although most people seem to like the convenient placement of keys on the Chrome keyboard, it can prove to be a bit problematic if you are used to typing fast or really miss the extra “.com” alternatives offered in the stock Safari keyboard. Thanks to ChromeURL, users can enjoy Chrome, but with Safari’s keyboard. Not only does this give you the familiar web address suffixes, less area of the screen is hidden while you are typing.
Chromizer adds three new functionalities to Chrome that make it even more than perfect. Here are the three new additions made by this free Cydia tweak.
- Pull to Refresh: The popular “pull to refresh” gesture, present in so many areas of iOS, is added to Chrome by the Chromizer tweak. The refresh button in the iPhone app is located under the settings menu, and that seems a bit too unintuitive if you have to keep refreshing a page continuously. This feature of the tweak solves that issue.
- Full Screen Mode: Surprisingly, Chrome for iOS lacks an easy way of entering full screen mode, but if you have a jailbroken iPhone or iPad, you don’t have to worry about that. Just install Chromizer and tap the screen with three fingers. You will enter full screen mode, and it can be turned off by performing the same gesture once again.
- Tab Switching for iPad: If you love Chrome’s fast tab switching method on the iPhone, then you must be disappointed to find out that it didn’t make it to the iPad version of the app. Chromizer makes Chrome’s tab switching on iPad identical to the one on offer in the iPhone app.
Judging by the Chrome app’s popularity and the rush of tweaks related to it, we are sure that the Cydia developers will release more tweaks to complement an already awesome app. The best thing about all the tweaks in our list is that they are available for free, just like Chrome for iOS itself.