Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Google launches Chrome Beta for Android 4.0

It was only a matter of time till Google ported their browser to their mobile OS and now we have the first public Beta of Chrome for Android. While this is exciting, many of you won’t be able to use this because it requires Android 4.0 and above, so for now only Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S users can take it for a spin. If you do, then you can download it from the Marketplace or download the APK directly from here.
Still needs some work
Still needs some work

Not that the stock browser in Ice Cream Sandwich is bad, it’s nice to have a familiar browser on the phone as well. Many of the familiar features from the desktop browser make a return, like the ‘omnibox’ address bar, which let’s you go to a web address or search Google. Tabbed browsing is also present and you also get the option for incognito mode. You can also sync all your desktop bookmarks and open tab on the mobile version allowing you to seamlessly switch between the desktop and tablet or smartphone. Currently, the browser doesn’t support Adobe Flash, but we’re sure that’ll be added later. The idea behind Chrome is speed and simplicity, as Mr. Sundar Pichai, Google's Senior Vice President of Chrome and apps, said in his blog post. “We reimagined tabs so they fit just as naturally on a small-screen phone as they do on a larger screen tablet," Pichai said. "You can flip or swipe between an unlimited number of tabs using intuitive gestures, as if you're holding a deck of cards in the palm of your hands, each one a new window to the web."

The effect is a lot better on a tablet, of course, giving you a very similar desktop experience. Since this is just a Beta, bugs and glitches are to be encountered, but it still works well. If you happen to be running a custom ROM-based on ICS, then you’ll also be able to try this out. We’ve tried it on a Galaxy S running ICS 4.0.3 and apart from slight sluggishness here and there in the animations, it runs well. You can switch between pages by simply swiping the screen left or right and closing a tab is done in a similar fashion, along with which you get a nice little animation. Check out the demo video below for a taste of Chrome on ICS.

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