App Review: Google Chrome for iOS
Google has decided to challenge the iOS powerhouse that is Safari with the new Google Chrome for iOS app. Google Chrome for iOS is an alternate browser for your iPhone or iPad that includes all of the browser basics, plus some of your favorite Google Chrome features. When I first heardthat the Google Chrome browser was released on iOS, I rushed to my iPhone to download it immediately. My favorite PC web browser available for my iPhone? I could not wait to try it. While I do use Google Chrome for iOS as my main iPhone browser (aside from any link in an app that automatically opens to Safari), it does have a few flaws that keep it from being everything I want it to be. I chalk this up to the fact that the app is relatively new and needs some updates to get it perfect, and Google has been doing just that since the app has released.
- “Most Visited” sites are visible when you open a new tab. One of my favorite features of Google Chrome on PC are available on Google Chrome for iOS. When you open a new tab, six of your most visited websites on Chrome will appear and you can quickly reopen one just by tapping on the site of your choice.
- Chrome for iOS introduced “Incognito Tabs.” If you want to be secretive about a site you are visiting, you can open the options and select to open an “Incognito Tab.” This hides the tab from your recently visited list and from your browser history.
- If you sign in to your Google account, your last pages visited after closing or after a crash will automatically reopen.
- Sometimes the browser can be slower than Safari, but again, that could just be bugs that have to be worked out on Google’s end. The current version, 21.0.1180.80, is significantly faster than the release version.
- The fact that the browser lacks a refresh button is bothersome. I am not sure if it was an oversight, but it is inconvenient to have to tap the URL bar, have the keyboard open and the screen change just to refresh a website.
- Google Chrome for iOS does not have the same sharing options as Safari. While you can email, Tweet or Facebook a link, you cannot print a website from browser, which is a highly practical use.
- Chrome for iOS is still having some mobile site compatibility issues, per user reviews as of the current version, but future bug fixes and maybe some changes from the website developers’ side will change that.
Overall, despite its flaws, Google Chrome is still my browser of choice on my iPhone. Google has consistently updated when needed since the app has launched, and I have faith that they will continue to do so. Besides, if you are unsure if you will like it, Google Chrome for iOS is free from the App Store. There is no harm in not trying it out. Get the app here for iOS.