Beta version of Chrome for Android 4.0 released

It's taken a few years but today, Google is finally starting to offer up a version of its Chrome web browser for Android users. Today, the Android Market released a free beta version of Chrome for Android. This first public beta is limited to owners of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) devices. That includes the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone.

The YouTube video shows off one of the features of Chrome for Android: the ability to sync up to Chrome on your PC to get the same bookmarks and even view the same browser tabs on the mobile version. You can even send pages from the PC version of Chrome to the Android version and read those pages online or offline.

The developer's page for Chome for Android reveals more about the web browser, including word that it supports opening an unlimited amount of tabs. Google states, "To switch between tabs, flip through them on your phone the way you would fan a deck of cards, or swipe from edge to edge." It also has a feature called Link Preview that allows its users to zoom in on links so they can be sure to click on the right one.

Chrome for Android also has a feature called Find in Page that lets its users search for a specific word on a web page and then see where that word appears on that particular web page. The Incognito mode will allow users to surf the net without having to worry about storing any history files or caches on their mobile device.

There's no word on when Google plans to release Chrome for Android for older Android operating systems.

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51 Comments

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Um....the engine in Chrome for Android and the stock browser is basically the same.....

BTW, incognito is avaliable in CM.

It kinda doesn't feel like too ICS. Stock Browser is more ICS than Chrome. Anyway, good browser, but freezes on non-complete ICS builds(eg CM9 for S II)

I'll give it a go
Don't really like having extra apps on my phone that the phone already has (can't be un-installed). They should've replaced the stock "browser" with this as an update. I disabled "browser" anyway.

Boy oh boy, this browser is awesome! And it's about damn time IMO. This is the browser they NEED as stock in ICS (just need to update it to ICS colors).

No real issues yet, testing it out on JoelZ ICS 4.0.3 (ICE) for my EVO 3D right now... much faster than stock, and up to speed as Dolphin HD/Boat Browser!

Brian Miller said,
Is there a Android emulator for the Mac or PC?

Yep, is part of the Android SDK, but it's quite slow (which is obvious considering it has to emulate the ARM architecture).

Not bad at all, I like how you can see the tabs you had open on your PC. Firefox mobile does that too, really handy feature. It's looking good

Would want to use it but its only exclusive to ICS.
Perhaps the Chinese will dissect this one and start a new wave of ICS browsers?

iron2000 said,
Would want to use it but its only exclusive to ICS.
Perhaps the Chinese will dissect this one and start a new wave of ICS browsers?

And even then it might not work, shows as incompatible for me. Then again maybe they only marked devices that officially have ICS as compatible... Sigh, the mess that is the Android Market

3dfxman said,
Ok i want ICS for my Galaxy S2 Skyrocket now please lol

You and me both. Got my SGS2 LTE (Roger's version of Skyrocket), still waiting for an official ROM or even CM9!

3dfxman said,
Ok i want ICS for my Galaxy S2 Skyrocket now please lol

It will be months before you will see ICS for your carrier branded phone.

this is what make me explode with rage. Now your ****ing browser needs 4.0? what the hell?!. My damn phone cant update to that OS and you are releasing this browser to this platform?!. Just one year, nothing but one year ago was released Android 2.2.2. NOTHING BUT ONE YEAR AGO!!. What do you suggest google (or any fanboy)?. Burn my 2 years contract phone and buy a new one and in ONE YEAR I will have to do the same?!. NO!. I WONT FALL IN YOUR TRAP AGAIN!.

ThePitt said,
this is what make me explode with rage. Now your ****ing browser needs 4.0? what the hell?!. My damn phone cant update to that OS and you are releasing this browser to this platform?!. Just one year, nothing but one year ago was released Android 2.2.2. NOTHING BUT ONE YEAR AGO!!. What do you suggest google (or any fanboy)?. Burn my 2 years contract phone and buy a new one and in ONE YEAR I will have to do the same?!. NO!. I WONT FALL IN YOUR TRAP AGAIN!.

Wow, ignorance written all over this post. Chrome is not a feature. It's just another browser. People like me that have Chrome won't get magical powers. IT'S JUST A BROWSER. What did you really want from Chrome? Can you get it from another browser. Are you going to continue be extremely foolish? If so, buy an iPhone with your next contract, one less foolish person to respond to.

Woah there.
You should have learnt that these 24 month contracts are utter rubbish and you're better off buying the phone separately. If this is your second 24 month contract, more fool you. If it's your first, now you're learning the lesson

smooth3006 said,
Also boat browser is fantastic.

Yep, another vote for boat browser, only wish it has gesture swipe to switch tab.

I thought Chrome Sync was supposed to be built into Android 4.0 and the browser that ships with it. At least that's what I got from the debut speech. WTF? Now you "have to" install an additional browser on your phone for this??? What an unnecessary hassle.

shawncm217 said,
I thought Chrome Sync was supposed to be built into Android 4.0 and the browser that ships with it. At least that's what I got from the debut speech. WTF? Now you "have to" install an additional browser on your phone for this??? What an unnecessary hassle.

No you don't. Chrome bookmark syncing has existed in Android since v3. Android chrome just takes it a step further and syncs every thing.

SharpGreen said,

No you don't. Chrome bookmark syncing has existed in Android since v3. Android chrome just takes it a step further and syncs every thing.

It just seems to me it ought to be built into the browser in Android instead of being an additional install. For as much as I don't care for Apple products, they do tend produce singular, cohesive solutions. Google and Microsoft both frequently suffer from a schizophrenia about what product is going to solve a given problem and fill a certain gap in a larger ecosystem.

"This first public beta is limited to owners of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) devices. That includes the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone."

...and my beautiful Xoom.

dvferret said,
"This first public beta is limited to owners of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) devices. That includes the Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone."

...and my beautiful Xoom.

And the 4.0.X ROMs

cashman said,
If google's browser is called chrome, what is the stock browser on google's OS called?

On 2.2, its called "Internet" >.>

Got this earlier for my Galaxy S II. It's good, but could be a lot better. It's better than the stock browser though, a little faster and tabs help. It seems perfect but personally, something feels missing..

mjedi7 said,
Great, been using the stock browser of Android before, I think Chrome will be so much better!

They're really very similar. For me, the best selling point is that it will be market updateable. The stock browser will only ever update when new versions of Android come along.

It's super quick, and I love the engine improvements over the basic browser, but I'm annoyed by two tiny details that I feel kind of sheepish being annoyed by.

1) The native browser has the dark color scheme characteristic of ICS, while Chrome is buried under 1995 gray tones in what feels like a desperate attempt to look as much like desktop Chrome as possible.

2) Opening the tab manager and closing all of the tabs doesn't exit out of the browser, but instead just stares at you with a blank screen. The extra tap of 'home' or 'back' feels unnecessary.

But for the actual web content, it's pretty great. Don't know how I feel about the back/forward buttons under Menu, though.

Well, i's still a beta. The first one.
So, i find it to be great, if not the greatest browser on Android at this moment, although it has some bugs.

(posted from Google Chrome for Android )

Yeah, I tried to keep that in mind, though there was this nagging voice in the back of my head reminding me that Google's use of the word 'beta' is unlike almost every other company in the software industry. Gmail wore a 'beta' tag for ages without ever delivering significant changes (it wasn't until well after the tag went away that Gmail got its touch-friendly overhaul).

I can't help thinking it's pretty safe to assume the Chrome we see today is roughly where any other company would version at 1.0.

M_Lyons10 said,
Hm... I'm not so sure the tabs at the top will work well on a phone screen...

You don't see tabs at the top on the phone version (I'm...I'm not sure what PotatoJ is referencing, lol). There's a button at the top to access the tab manager, which hasn't presented me with any discomfort yet. For simple tab switching, you can just swipe side to side.

Tabs will be at the top for tablet users, however.

M_Lyons10 said,
Hm... I'm not so sure the tabs at the top will work well on a phone screen...

there isn't any tabs for phone its only visible for tablets. tab button for phone. they have gesture to swype between tabs.

This is the best thing ever... I am loving this.