Chrome for Android -- best mobile browser

Chrome for Android -- best mobile browser

Summary: Chrome for Android is already the best mobile browser on any tablet.

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Image credit: James Kendrick/ ZDNet

Google released the Chrome browser for Android without fanfare this week, and I immediately installed it on the only Android device running Ice Cream Sandwich. It was quickly apparent that it was the best mobile browser on a phone that I have tried, and I wanted to see if would be even better on a tablet.

See also: Chrome Beta for Android demo on video

Colleague Jason Perlow put together a gallery of screen shots of Chrome running on a XOOM tablet, and those showed Chrome to be so good it would be worth any effort to get it running on my Galaxy Tab 10.1. My Tab wasn't running Ice Cream Sandwich (only version Chrome will run under), but that didn't stop me. I quickly found a custom ROM to install on the Tab and in about an hour I was happily testing Chrome on the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

What do I think of it? Awesome. I believe Chrome on Android is the best mobile browser on any platform. The reason is simple -- Chrome on the Android tablet is like Chrome on the desktop, and that's very good.

Chrome for Android has an advantage over Chrome on the desktop in that it has been designed from the ground up to be run by touch control. It has the benefits of a full desktop browser combined with the advantages a touch browser brings to the tablet. In a word, again, awesome.

My recent discovery that I am 90 percent "post-PC" was due to my increased work on a tablet running either Android or iOS. Mobile browsers have gotten good enough to do a lot of my web-based work using them, leaving the desktop browser behind more often than in the past. That was prior to the release of Chrome for Android; I can now probably leave the desktop behind for 95 percent of my work, as it comes even closer to bridging the gap between mobile and desktop browser.

I use Chrome on both the Windows and Mac desktops, as it meets my needs best. It is fast, handles lots of tabs with ease and with extensions is very customizable. Chrome for Android doesn't handle the extensions, but it meets or exceeds my requirements in most other areas. It is just a beta but already better than the standard Android browser, and even third party browsers. It is faster than the rest, too. I have already grown accustomed to always having access to Chrome tabs that are open on other devices.

Google has hit a home run with Chrome for Android, and left the competition behind. Those needing a good browser on a mobile platform will find that Android is now the first one to check into. Chrome just might be the deciding factor in your tablet purchase choice. Now if only all the other Android apps would get better.

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Topics: Android, Browser, Google, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility, Samsung, Tablets

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27 comments
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  • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

    opinion.
    jasqid
    • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

      @jasqid Of course it is.
      JamesKendrick
    • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

      @jasqid

      All best/worst statements are....
      Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

      @jasqid That doesn't make it wrong!
      slickjim
  • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

    I agree. It is by far the best I have used. It is fast and snappy and just works well. Plus being able to sync to my desktop version is great.
    keithsmith22 acsyndicate.net @dks0312
    keithsmith22
  • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

    Does it suport flash? If it does I am looking forward to Chrome on windows 8. because IE on Win 8 is basically broken
    nanderto
    • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

      @nanderto Win 8 is not out yet except as a beta test (yeah they are calling it something else for PR reasons but it is an open beta)... so it has some kinks to work out.
      athynz
    • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

      @nanderto
      No, Adobe will not support it. So if you think Windows 8 is broken, this will also consider broken as well. http://blogs.adobe.com/flashplayer/2012/02/flash-chrome-for-android-beta.html
      Samic
  • Have you tested the browser on the BlackBerry playbook?

    The browser on the BlackBerry playbook is by far the best I have tried to date on a mobile platform. Full flash support, tabbed browsing. I can do anything I can do on a desktop on the browser. Can you give me your honest/unbiased opinion on why you feel the chrome browser is the best out there?
    r3viswan
    • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

      @r3viswan Did you watch any of the videos? It's a slick little browser...

      As for being able to do anything a desktop can do, I can pretty much do that same stuff on my Android Phone and Kindle Fire (The fire actually streams flash effortlessly) but it doesn't mean the presentation is at its best.
      slickjim
    • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

      @r3viswan
      Yeah, BB browser still beats it, mainly for Flash. And because RIM is source-code buddies with Adobe, it will "always" have flash.
      x I'm tc
    • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

      @r3viswan: I doubt it. ZDnet is biased towards Chrome. It's a good browser but then so are Firefox, Opera and IE9. Firefox and Opera particularly get virtually no page mentions (not positive ones anyway).

      I've never used Safari on Mac but Windows it stinks. So I cannot comment on that one.
      bradavon
  • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

    This is going to be the first App I download when the Rezound gets ICS.
    slickjim
  • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

    So far I'm not impress. First, the ICS stock browser is faster and the loading visual cue is better with fade in than Chrome's pop in. Second, it doesn't support Flash but the stock browser does. Third, it just feel slower over all.

    Mind you I'm also running ICS on Galaxy Tab 10.1 so I know what I'm talking about. I'm sure James Kendrick would agree: GTab 10.1 is much better with ICS even without working camera at this moment.
    Samic
  • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

    Can it invade my privacy faster than on Ice Cream Shitwich?
    lippidp
  • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

    Can it invade my privacy faster than on Ice Cream Shitwich?
    lippidp
  • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

    I tried it on a transformer Prime.

    Not impressed. It's better than the stock browser, but I found it to be glitchy.
    mikedees
  • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

    Google/Microsoft: we present the new Chrome/IE9 browser for Android 4/Windows 7, which features amazing speed, is standard compliant and present many features phone/PCs users want.

    What? How many can upgrade? Well, all Android 4/Windows Vista and 7 users can update right away. That is about 1%/40% of our 300 million/1.2 billion userbase.

    What about the rest? Well since Chrome/IE9 use many new technologies, we recommend upgrading the hardware instead of supporting those old versions of Android 2.x/Windows XP.

    Buy a new smarthphone/PC!!!!
    luis3007
    • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

      @luis3007: Fair point on Chrome (it really should at least work on Android 3.x too) but the Windows one is odd. IE9 is supported on Vista (which is 6 years old), expecting it to work on an operating system that is 11 is plain ridiculous.
      bradavon
  • RE: Chrome for Android - best mobile browser

    Is it better and faster than Opera Mobile on tablets? (by most accounts the best Android browser) And Firefox Mobile? (which supports extensions), what about Dolphin (which also supports extensions) or ICS Browser+?<br><br>I plan to try them all (including Chrome) when I get a tablet but suspect I'll be using Dolphin or Firefox Mobile. I've come accustomed to not having to see Facebook (there's no app like iPad remember) etc... cluttered in ads. There's more to a browser than just speed!<br><br>Flash is important too. The BBC iPlayer app doesn't currently work on the Asus Transformer Prime (I don't believe it works on any Android tablets) but the flash supported bbc.co.uk/iplayer works a treat.<br><br>Firefox is also the best browser on Desktops too (followed by Chrome).

    p.s - Chrome Mobile really should at least work on Android 3.x Honeycomb too.
    bradavon