I’ve spent the last week trying out Google Chrome on my iPhone and iPad, and I have a simple recommendation for anyone who hasn’t tried it yet: install it now. You’ll love it.
Google Chrome provides several significant benefits over the built-in Safari browser:
- Google Account Sync. Logging into your Google Account automatically syncs your bookmarks, browser history
- The OmniBar. The Omnibar (the unified address / search bar) is my favorite features of Google Chrome’s desktop web browser. On my mobile experiences, I frequently frustrated myself by typing search terms into the Safari address bar. No more: Google Chrome for iOS brings my much-loved Omnibar to .
- Better tab management. If you’re like me you’ve got a dozen-plus browser tabs open at a given time. Google Chrome makes managing those tabs easy with an effective “tiling” user interface that allows for efficient tab switching.
- Touch Gestures. Switching among tabs is as simple as swiping the left or right edge of your browser window.
- Access Tabs on Other Devices. Another advantage of connecting to your Google Account is that any browser tabs you have open on other devices – such as your desktop or laptop – are available to you on your mobile devices. If you’re browsing on your iPad in bed at the end of the day, you can easily pick up any loose ends from your Google Chrome tabs open on your desktop/laptop computer.
Google Chrome for iOS isn’t perfect – yet. There are a couple of downsides to using Google Chrome on iOS devices: first, iOS doesn’t allow you to set your default browser to anything but Safari, so when you open web links in e-mails and other applications, they’ll open in Safari rather than Chrome; second, only Safari is granted access to Apple’s super-fast “Nitro” rendering engine, so Google Chrome is stuck using the somewhat slower UIWebView rendering engine. In practice I haven’t found any of these negatives to be deal-breakers – the positives more than outweigh these negatives.
I’m sure I’ll discover more great features in the coming days, but I’ve already switched over to Google Chrome as my full-time web browser on my iPad and iPhone. Give it a try – I think you’ll like it.