Google has announced that it’s Chrome browser is now available as an app on both the iPhone and iPad. The words had barley left the lips of Brian Rakowski, Chrome's VP, before we headed to the Apple App Store to download. Then we had to wait 12 hours for it actually to arrive here in the UK.
However, Pocket-lint has now had a play and we’re pleased to say it was worth the wait. For those unfamiliar with Chrome, it’s Google’s fastest web browser and after serving users so well both on PCs, Macs and Android devices, iOS users can now get in the act too.
Once it's downloaded from the App Store (it's free) you’ll need to sign up to Chrome with an email address and password. If you already use Chrome on your desktop, use the same details, as one of the beauties of having Chrome on your iOS device is that you’ll be able to enjoy the same Chrome experience across all your devices.
For example, if you’re browsing Pocket-lint’s website on your phone on your way to work, log into your computer and you’ll have the Pocket-lint page there waiting for you. Likewise any bookmarks you save will be saved across all your devices so long as you’re logged in.
Anyway back to our iPhone experience. When you start entering a search term in the navigation bar, Chrome will instantly begin making suggestions in a list form. For example when we started typing "Pocke", three down the list and Pocket-lint sprang up. Chrome will also remember your search history so next time you might only need to enter the first two letters, assuming you haven’t already bookmarked it.
Chrome enables you to open as many tabs as you like at any one time. We stuck to a modest five and noticed no detrimental effect on the browser in terms of speed. However, that’s not to say that you won’t start to experience fatigue should you continue to add additional tabs.
To alternate tabs you have two choices. Slide your finger from the edge of the phone – this can be done when in portrait or landscape mode – across the screen and you’ll be able to flick through all open tabs. Do it slowly and you’ll have half of two screens on display - which has no benefit other than looking pretty cool.
The second method is by pressing the tab icon in the top right of the screen. This also displays how many tabs you have open. Press this and all your tabs will be aligned like a spread pack of playing cards. Press on any of these individual tabs and it will open up in full.
However, slide one of these tabs off screen and it will take on a ghostly transparent guise before disappearing. This will close the tab permanently though pressing the "X" button in the top right corner can also do this.
Of course browsing the web can sometimes be a personal experience. You might be scouting websites that you don’t want others to know about. We don’t know, erm, you could be shopping online for a birthday present perhaps. Well worry not, because Chrome also gives you the option of private browsing. Switch on the "Incognito" function and no web pages or cookies will be saved to either your iPhone or any other device on which you use Chrome.
We’ve been using Chrome on various other devices for an age now, and we still love it. However, until now Opera Mini has more than served us well on the iPhone. Is Google Chrome a genuine rival to Opera on iOS devices? Well in less than 24 hours, Google Chrome is already topping the Apple App Store in the free apps chart.
Are you using Chrome on your iPhone or iPad? Let us know what you think in the comments below.