Chrome browser to debut on iPhone and iPad today

Chrome browser to debut on iPhone and iPad today

Summary: Chrome for iPhone and iPad was announced today at Google I/O 2012 and is now available for download in the App Store.


Chrome coming to iPhone and iPad today - Jason O'GradyChrome Vice President Brian Rakowski announced (and TweetedChrome for iPhone and iPad (free, App Store) at Google I/O 2012 today in San Francisco.

According to reportage by The Verge Chrome for iOS will require iOS 4.3 or higher and will support Chrome sync. Blurry photos of the slideware don't provide many more details other than the fact that it's strikingly similar to Chrome for Android. No surprises there.

Possibly the most newsworthy part of the announcement is the fact that Chrome for iOS is available today.

Although it has a lot of potential for Chrome users on the desktop, I primarily use Safari on OS X and like its iCloud bookmark syncing. Plus iOS 6 is adding iCloud tab syncing which will be an added bonus.

Mashable notes that Chrome for iOS is basically a skinned version of Mobile Safari (UIWebView) minus the Nitro JavaScript engine -- which Apple restricts to Mobile Safari for "security reasons." Also since Apple doesn't provide an option to select default apps in iOS touching links in apps (email, messages, etc.) only opens them in Safari.

Chrome Apple: rockrgrl4ever15

Topics: iPad, Hardware, iPhone, Mobility, Smartphones

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  • What is the javascript performance like?

    In case you don't know, Apple has severly crippled the javascript performance for every single program that isn't Apple Safari.

    Has Google found a way around this or can we expect this to be unusable because Apple uses secret APIs to disadvantage 3rd party developers?
    • Proof?

      You make a very interesting statement. Where does your information come from? I'd like the chance to evaluate it.
      • Here
        [i]In iOS 5, Apple solved the security issues that prevented earlier releases from running full screen web apps using Nitro, although security measures still prevent [b]apps that use UIWebView to present a web view from invoking Nitro[/b].[/i]

        So far, if any 3rd party app displays a web page in iOS, it is either rendering it on a server and sending a picture (Skyfire) or it is rendering it in a UIWebView control. There are no 3rd party HTML or Javascript engines allowed in iOS. So if Chrome is using UIWebView to display web pages, it is not allowed to use the same Nitro speed enhancements that Safari is allowed to use. That is why Safari is so much faster than any other browser in iOS. Apple uses secret APIs in order to give Safari performance improvements. Those secret APIs are not available to any 3rd party app.
      • Easier to read this link
        [i]Update: Sadly, while got Nitro so Home screen web apps enjoy the faster JavaScript rendering, UIWebView did not. That means [b]web pages contained in apps are still using the slower version[/b].[/i]
      • Thanks!

        I'm not sure that this is going to cause me to lose any sleep, but I do appreciate the information.
  • Even more

    Clicking on links that open in a browser will still default to Safari. Just use Safari.
    • If you don't want to use Safari, there is another option

      Copy and paste your links into Chrome. It's a little more effort, but really it's trivial. If Chrome improves my browsing experience, this is the flow I'll use.
  • I got it...

    I just got the Chrome for iphone/ipad... Go here...

  • It's not real Chrome

    Because Apple does not allow any other real browser engine beside included Safari... So not, dont expect anything different. Chrome currently there with Safari engine behind but only browser shell. Before anyone jumps, yes I know it's Webkit... Just check out your user-agent... You will see webkit version with included Safari. Android versions of any browser can use their own engine like Firefox, Opera and Chrome, but Apple's silly "mine mine" attribute gets users stuck on their buggy Safari...
    • Chrome already uses webkit

      As its rendering engine
      • Thank you Captain Obvious

        But browser app does not use its own engine. It is only allowed to use whatever on your device. Currently my safari on my iPad has 534.46 which is same on Chrome. My Android device Chrome app has 535.19 which is also released today while my androids own browser has 534.30... Because of this Apple restriction you will never see a Gecko engine nor Opera engine nor any Webkit engine other than what Apple gives you with Safari...

        Ah did I mention iPhone and iPad are only Smart(!) devices in the world that can not do a "basic html (since 1990) single file upload" from their browser? Because Apple thinks it is best for you? In other words, what you see there is your safari with Chrome skin and chrome bookmark sync, not real Chrome that gives you extra browsing, javascript performance more or functionality...
      • baggins: Chrome on Windows uses Nitro javascript engine?

        Oh wait, it doesn't. You fail.
  • I downloaded iOS Chrome browser for my iPad and found it - OK.

    The only "complaint" I have with it is that sometimes the screen scrolls are a bit "jerky" compared to Safari. (I almost thought I was using an Android tablet for a moment. Grin.)

    But after a few moments at a particular web site, the background processes are finished and the scrolling becomes smooth.
    • I downloaded it for my iPhone

      I found it to be outstanding. Innovative. So much more innovative than mobile Safari.

      But like you, I found it to be slow. I know it would be so much better if Google had access to the same APIs that Apple has access to. But no, Apple has access to secret APIs that no one else has access to.
      • Do you get paid by the post?

        Or do you get paid by the day? After you get home from your day job as a Fry tech at Burger King.
        Jumpin Jack Flash