Chrome Beta for Android – Finally!

Everyone except Microsoft Loyalist diehards (who must own stock in the company), will admit that either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome easily beat out Internet Explorer. But the latest question has been, will the app for Chrome live up to its big-brother desktop cousin? With the August release of the beta version, we finally get […]

Chrome Beta for Android – Finally!

Everyone except Microsoft Loyalist diehards (who must own stock in the company), will admit that either Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome easily beat out Internet Explorer. But the latest question has been, will the app for Chrome live up to its big-brother desktop cousin? With the August release of the beta version, we finally get to find out.

The Chrome Beta interface doesn’t look very different from the original Android 4.0 browser; start playing with it a little and you’ll unearth a wealth of features. The first thing you will want to do is to sign in to your Google account (the sign-in dialog is hidden inside the “settings” sub-menu). This transfers virtually everything from your desktop at home to the Android version on your phone, assuming you’re already signed in to the PC version. Privacy concerns aside, this is incredibly useful. All your bookmarks, your autofills, your history and favorites are all there, ready for you to browse almost as easily as you do at home. This in itself is a revolutionary addition to the world of cell phones and computers.

One feature that is even better is the “other devices” function, which allows you to actually take your browsing session with you on your Android if you need to. Tapping the “tab-switcher” icon on the action bar brings up an overview interface for currently open tabs which looks and acts like an unlimited deck of cards. Once in that cool deck, you just swipe up and down, or left and right in landscape. In portrait, you can also switch by tilting your phone, which is gimmicky, but great for impressing non- techies. You can also kill a tab you no longer need by swiping it away which is very useful for non-technically savvy users.

Browsing with the Chrome Beta app is significantly easier and more flexible than any stock browser the author has ever used. Complex pages are navigated with ease. One of the reasons this works so well is the V8 JavaScript engine, chugging away competently, but out of sight and out of mind. One of its results however, is easy to see: on pages with lots of small hyperlinks which would normally be very difficult to select with a fingertip, Chrome Beta has a “smart zoom” that automatically enlarges the target and makes the selection a breeze.

Even though the Chrome Beta app is a temporary app for the Android phone, it has already proven to be an amazing app and a very useful app to install on your Android. The wait is finally over and this app has definitely shown itself to be a dependable and welcomed addition to the Android app family.

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