Google has just released a public beta version of Google Chrome for Android. Google's main goal was to port the speed and simplicity of the Chrome browser to mobile devices running on Android. The beta version is only available for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich devices, and currently only in the following countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.
Android users can download Chrome Beta from Android Market, where it is available for download. A version of the browser has also been downloaded and made available again by members of the XDA-Developer forum.
Chrome for Android Beta ships with some Chrome desktop features, including the browser's omnibox to search and navigate directly from the browser's address bar, a tab driven interface, and the private browsing mode (incognito mode). Other features of the desktop version, like themes and extensions support are currently not available in the beta client.
Chrome for Android furthermore synchronizes bookmarks and open tabs with desktop versions.For synchronization to work, you need to sign in to Chrome on all devices that you want to synchronize.
The mobile version of Chrome introduces several device specific features. This includes options to flip through all open tabs with a swipe, or the new link zooming feature that makes the selection of links more comfortable in the mobile browser.
Google has released a video that introduces the Chrome for Android beta version. The video demonstrates the tab swiping capabilities of the browser among other things.
Most user comments on Android Market, Google Plus and other announcement locations are quite positive. The average rating currently on Android market is 4.3. Critics have pointed out that Chrome for Android does not support Flash, and that it is not possible to switch to the desktop version of a site if available. Positive aspects are speed mainly and the synchronization of tabs and bookmarks.
Google plans to release the mobile browser in other countries in the near future. It is not clear at this point in time if pre-Android 4.0 devices will also be able to download and install the browser. (via Caschy)
Have you played around with Chrome for Android yet? Let me know what you think of this initial release in the comments.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.