Google targets iPhone and iPad users with Chrome and Drive

Google targets iPhone and iPad users with Chrome and Drive

Summary: Google has released an iOS version of its Chrome browser, after taking the Android version out of beta earlier this week.In a blog post on Thursday, Chrome chief Sundar Pichai said the move would give users "a consistent, personalised web experience across all devices".

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TOPICS: Telcos
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Google has released an iOS version of its Chrome browser, after taking the Android version out of beta earlier this week.

In a blog post on Thursday, Chrome chief Sundar Pichai said the move would give users "a consistent, personalised web experience across all devices". The new version works on the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, as long as the device is running iOS 4.3 or higher.

"When Chrome first launched, many people were tethered to a single computer. Today most people use multiple computers, smartphones and tablets," Pichair wrote. "Starting today, Chrome is also available for your iPhone and iPad. That means you can enjoy the same speedy and simple Chrome experience across your devices. Also, by signing in to Chrome, you can easily move from your desktop, laptop, smartphone and tablet and have all of your stuff with you."

The main benefits of the move will indeed be the improved synchronisation. Apple forces all third-party browsers to be essentially skinned versions of its own mobile Safari, and it also blocks them from using Apple's JavaScript engine, so the iOS Chrome was never likely to provide performance gains over the preinstalled browser. This is the kind of situation that Mozilla avoided when it made the iOS Firefox Home app little more than a browser data-syncing service.

However, the iOS Chrome was not the only announcement on Thursday that was aimed at Apple users. Google also used its I/O conference to reveal a Drive app for iOS and offline editing functionality for 'Google documents' on the devices.

Google appears to be no longer referring to Google documents as 'Google Docs', as it did before April, when it introduced Google Drive. Google Drive is both an evolution of the Google Docs concept and a new cloud storage competitor to the likes of Dropbox.

"With the Drive app, you can open PDFs, photos, videos, documents and anything else stored in your Drive while you're on the go," product management director Clay Bavor said in a separate blog post. "You can also search all your files, add collaborators to documents, and make files available offline to view them even without an internet connection. For blind and low-vision users, the app also works great in VoiceOver mode."

Unlike Chrome for iOS, Drive requires version 5.0 or higher of the mobile operating system.

In his post, Bavor noted that those wanting to use the offline editing feature would need to have the latest version of Chrome installed on their device.

Topic: Telcos

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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