App review: Chrome for iOS

Google competes on Apple's turf with the launch of the Chrome browser for iPhones and iPads

Mobile Safari, Apple’s native web browser for iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad can be best described as adequate. It does its job, and not much more.

Until recently Apple hasn't allowed alternatives to Mobile Safari, but third-party browsers like Opera and Chrome are now available in the App Store.

Chrome is the strongest competitor browser for iOS. Much like the desktop versions, Chrome is powerful without sacrificing performance.

Overall the app (free from the App Store) fills power users' tab-centric needs, that the native app just hasn't delivered.

On the iPad version the difference between the Chrome app and the native app is hardly noticeable, although Chrome does provide around 10 pixels more of vertical screen real-estate.

Managing tabs on the iPhone version is a completely different experience.

In the tab drawer swiping up and down moves you across tabs, while swiping left or right deletes them. I found this to be a very quick and efficient way to quickly get through and manage a large number of tabs on the iPhone.

You press the familiar 'plus' button to create a new tab, and you can choose from a normal window, a private browsing mode, or to open a tab that you've created on another device running Chrome.

The ability to sync tabs across multiple devices does wonders for your productivity. Start viewing a page at your desktop, take it into a meeting on your tablet, and read it later on the train or bus.

If you're the type of person who prefers a full sites instead of trimmed down mobile versions, Chrome has the option to force a reload of a page in its desktop format.

One major downside to the Chrome app is a lack of integrated social sharing. If you want to share a link on Twitter you'll have to do it the old fashion way with copy and paste.


4 Stars

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