Finally! Google Chrome, the world's most popular browser by some accounts, is coming to the world's most popular smartphone and tablet.
On the second day of its Google I/O Developers Conference, Google announced Chrome for iOS, a shrunk-down version of its speedy browser for Apple products. Chrome for iPhone and Chrome for iPad will both be available by the end of the night (June 28th).
Engadget has a good look at what Chrome for Android looks like here; that article should give you an accurate picture of what the mobile Chrome experience will look like on your iDevices.
The Chrome for iOS app follows the official release of the Chrome for Android app, a move out of beta that Google announced on day one of the conference. The iPhone and iPad Chrome app has much in common with its Android cousin: It shares a similar user interface, with tabs and flick-to-close webpages; also, if you sign in to Google Chrome on your desktop and on your smartphone, your tabs and browsing history can sync between devices, meaning that you'll have access to those pages you viewed on your laptop right on your iPhone or iPad, and vice versa.
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(One use case that was brought up: Let's say you look at a restaurant on Chrome on your desktop computer. You decide to go out and try the restaurant, but when you leave the home, you forget where the restaurant is. If your Chrome is synced, you can just open up Chrome on your iPhone and get the location. It's a browsing experience that is consistent across all of your devices, in other words).
Google also announced an iOS app for Google Drive, its new cloud service, for immediate download.
The utility of Google Chrome for iPad and iPhone is a bit limited, of course, as iOS does not allow users to set any browser besides Safari as the primary browser. That means that links from email and text messages will automatically open in Safari, no matter how often you use Chrome for iOS.
Still, the syncing across devices is an exciting feature for desktop Chrome users who also own an iPhone and iPad. Those apps, again, should be available in iTunes by the end of Thursday, and we'll make sure to update you when they appear in Apple's store.
The Chrome for iOS app -- for both iPhone and iPad -- is now live in iTunes. You can download the Chrome app here.
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