Google brings Chrome browser to Android

7 Feb 2012
Chrome for Android

The beta for Google's mobile browser has now arrived on Android

Google has unveiled a beta of the Chrome browser for its Android operating system.

Google launched the beta of its desktop browser in 2008 and mobile OS in 2009, but until now Chrome hasn't been available on Android, which has shipped with a basic, default browser.

The beta for the mobile Chrome browser will initially only be available on version 4.0 of Android - better known as Ice Cream Sandwich.

"Like the desktop version, Chrome for Android Beta is focused on speed and simplicity, but it also features seamless sign-in and sync so you can take your personalised web browsing experience with you wherever you go, across devices," said Sundar Pichai, Google's vice president for Chrome, in a post on the Google blog.

In other words, Chrome for Android syncs with the desktop version - similar to rival Firefox's system - meaning signed-in users can see tabs that are open on a PC or other device and access bookmarks.

Other new features include Link Preview, which zooms in on links to make it easier to pick the right one out, while the top search results are pre-loaded in the background so "pages appear instantly".

"We reimagined tabs so they fit just as naturally on a small-screen phone as they do on a larger screen tablet," said Pichai. "You can flip or swipe between an unlimited number of tabs using intuitive gestures, as if you’re holding a deck of cards in the palm of your hands, each one a new window to the web."

The mobile Chrome will also feature incognito mode for private browsing, but Cnet reported it won't support third-party plugins such as Flash.

The beta for Chrome on Android can be downloaded free here.

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