Chrome has Finally Come to Android (But Only to 1% of All Android Devices)
This definitely took a while, but Google just launched Chrome for Android. Don't get too excited about this yet, though, as it is only compatible with Android 4.0 and it's not clear if Google has any intention of releasing it for earlier versions of Chrome as well, but given that Google is likely making use of the hardware acceleration features in Android 4.0, this seems rather unlikely. The app is available in the Android market now.
The vast majority of Android users, of course, doesn't have access to the Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 update yet – indeed, just about 1% of current Android devices currently run the latest version of Google's mobile operating system.
Just like the desktop version, Chrome for Android was built with a focus on speed and simplicity. It features Google's omnibus for both search and navigation, lets you swipe between an unlimited number of open tabs so there is no 8-tab limit like on Apple's Safari and you can sync your bookmarks and open tabs between your desktop and mobile browser.
If you are stuck on an older version of Android, of course, you still have a wide variety of browsers to choose from. Opera, Firefox and numerous other vendors offer viable alternatives to the built-in browser and unlike iOS, Android makes it easy to set any browser you like as your default choice.
It's always been a bit of an oddity that Google didn't use Chrome as its default browser for Android. Chrome, after all, is a runaway hit on the desktop and is currently one of the most popular browsers on the market. Android, however, always features a relatively sub-par browser that couldn't really compete with Apple's Safari.
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About the author
Frederic Lardinois founded SiliconFilter in 2011. Before starting this site, he wrote about 1,500 articles for ReadWriteWeb. His areas of interest are consumer web and mobile apps, as well as Internet-connected devices like cars, smart sensors and toasters. You can reach him at [email protected]