Google to release Chrome for iOS devices later today [Update]

Last May, rumors hit the Internet that Google was preparing to release a version of its Chrome browser that would run on iOS devices such as the iPad and iPhone. Today, as part of their keynote address at the second day of the Google I/O developer conference, the company announced that Chrome has been ported to work on the iOS platform from Apple.

It should be available to download from the app store later today and will work on the iPhone 4 and 4S, along with the iPad 2 and the current versions of the iPad. We will update this post when the Chrome browser officially goes live on iTunes.

The keynote address also showed a demo of how the Chrome iOS version would work. It will include features such as incognito browsing along with users being able to sync their browser settings with other devices that have the browser installed.

This is yet another major expansion for Chrome, after releasing a final version of the browser for Android 4.0 devices on Wednesday. The company is also working on a Metro version of Chrome that will run on Windows 8 with an early version released publicly a few weeks ago.

Update: Chrome for iOS is now available to download on iTunes.

Source: Google I/O keynote live stream

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Looks great on the iPad. Like the syncing of omnibox history and such. The browser clearly tries to preload your favourite sites as Neowin, Google, and Facebook come up instantly upon entering their URLs.

If only Google could use its own fork of Webkit or its JavaScript engine. The current restriction exists in iOS where WebViewUI wrappers have no access to Nitro unlike Safari, thus there's some jitter while scrolling.

xplatinum said,
It's the first version. It will undoubtedly get better with time.

And how exactly would that happen? UIWebView is pig slow, and there's nothing Google can do about it.

Pardon my ignorance, but isn't Opera available for iOS?

If so, what is preventing Google from creating a 'proper' Chrome port, rather than just a wrapper for Safari?

Cute James said,
Pardon my ignorance, but isn't Opera available for iOS?

If so, what is preventing Google from creating a 'proper' Chrome port, rather than just a wrapper for Safari?

True. It is. However, Opera renders the websites on Opera Software's servers, and then simply transmits the results to the iOS app. Before that, the data sent is compressed too. With these two steps, Opera's browser can actually load sites faster since less traffic is sent to you (the app decompressed the data locally on your device, transparently), as well as bypass Apple's requirements. Pretty clever. The downside is however that interactive sites can struggle on it. Since their servers render it and the app is only a "dumb receiver" displaying decompressed server data, it's not really designed for interactive apps. That would need it to send your input back to Opera, and Opera once again gie you results, etc.

Its okay. Not laid out that well. Tabs blend into each other, more than 2 and it gets silly. Bookmarks and favorites are a few clicks in, stupid and time wasting. Overall, i'd give it a C. Better browser alternatives out there.

Terracotta said,
Faster than Safari!

It's running the exact same engine as Safari, they're the same browser!!!!

I still can't get it to install on any of my iDevices

Terracotta said,
Faster than Safari!

Actually, no. Since this uses UIWebView, it comes with no Nitro acceleration for Javascript as in Safari. But despite that, it seems fast enough for me on iPad 2. And with all those sync features, it's amazing for me with a mixed Windows/Mac environment.

Terracotta said,
Faster than Safari!

It seems snappier imo. I understand they are the same engine, but my pages seem to load a ton faster.

It says nothing about not supporting older devices: "Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.Requires iOS 4.3 or later."
Edit: runs perfect on my iPad 1 and iPod touch 4G, obviously also on my New iPad

Edited by Draken, Jun 28 2012, 8:21pm :

So it's not going to support 1st gen-iPad? I'm surprised that any apps were released for the first iPad - I wonder how they managed to get Infinity Blade on there if it's not powerful enough to run an internet browser

Pygmy_Hippo said,
So it's not going to support 1st gen-iPad? I'm surprised that any apps were released for the first iPad - I wonder how they managed to get Infinity Blade on there if it's not powerful enough to run an internet browser

You can run iPhoto, Photoshop Touch and iMovie flawlessly on the iPad 1 (with a bit of elbow grease), that's just the way Apple "motivates" you to upgrade, I bet you will be able to run that skin of Safari on the iPad 1

Draken said,

You can run iPhoto, Photoshop Touch and iMovie flawlessly on the iPad 1 (with a bit of elbow grease), that's just the way Apple "motivates" you to upgrade, I bet you will be able to run that skin of Safari on the iPad 1

Yup, they're not subtle about it are they?

Pygmy_Hippo said,
So it's not going to support 1st gen-iPad? I'm surprised that any apps were released for the first iPad - I wonder how they managed to get Infinity Blade on there if it's not powerful enough to run an internet browser

Not sure how you got that, I am making this comment from a first gen iPad.

it's good for chrome users. I won't use it as I don't use it as well on my OSX devices because lack of bookmark separators to sort everything

Astra.Xtreme said,
Sweet! Now if only I could remove the Safari icon and replace it with the Chrome one.

Hide it in a folder on the furthest to the right springboard app page? Jailbreak your device? Idk...

Great, so Chrome will be available on iOS devices released within last 2 years, and yet you can't get that on old Android devices? Sounds funny. Another reason to stick with iOS/Apple.

iOS said,
Great, so Chrome will be available on iOS devices released within last 2 years, and yet you can't get that on old Android devices? Sounds funny. Another reason to stick with iOS/Apple.

^Ignorant

You still can't make it a default browser on iOS
No V8 JS Engine

Essentially iOS are getting a dumbed down version of Chrome.

iOS said,
Great, so Chrome will be available on iOS devices released within last 2 years, and yet you can't get that on old Android devices? Sounds funny. Another reason to stick with iOS/Apple.

Well, since Apple's fascist platform doesn't allow third parties to innovate, "porting" Chrome to iOS was pretty simple, since you can't do much more than slap your logo over the Safari logo, and add some basic UI customisations and very basic features.

NightCrawlerInfinity said,

Yeah because everyone jailbreaks.


And why not jailbreak? If you don't jailbreak, simply put. it's your loss! This is why the jailbreak community is great because of the cool tweaks that are available that you can't get with stock iOS. Jailbreaking is free and legal, so I don't see what the problem is.

Zoom7000 said,

And why not jailbreak? If you don't jailbreak, simply put. it's your loss! This is why the jailbreak community is great because of the cool tweaks that are available that you can't get with stock iOS. Jailbreaking is free and legal, so I don't see what the problem is.

So I guess it is fair to say that my rooted Android phone is better than any iPhone out there and of course any Windows Phone. My phone has more features than yours and it ALWAYS has the latest update. Fair enough?

You see, I'm talking about your average users here that knows nothing about jailbreak. If they install a browser and click a link, it launches automatically in Safari. However in Android, you are presented with an option (every time if you so wish it otherwise you can set it as a default to launch a specific app automatically for that particular action).

Going strictly by numbers (the current user base who doesn't jailbreak), iOS fails on that.

Chrome hasn't been "ported" to iOS - it's just a Safari wrapper, which means no V8 JS engine or Chrome-specific rendering. Since they both use WebKit, the rendering won't be far off, though.

iKenndac said,
Chrome hasn't been "ported" to iOS - it's just a Safari wrapper, which means no V8 JS engine or Chrome-specific rendering. Since they both use WebKit, the rendering won't be far off, though.

Meh, as long as the rendering is good (which in most cases unless you use IE which is still lacking) the other features like syncing or the interface is far more important, at least as far as I'm concerned. Chrome might be a bit faster in a few cases but I prefer Firefox because of how their addons work.

It's a shame you can't change default browser on iOS though, hope Apple will change that at some point.

Leonick said,

Meh, as long as the rendering is good (which in most cases unless you use IE which is still lacking) the other features like syncing or the interface is far more important, at least as far as I'm concerned. Chrome might be a bit faster in a few cases but I prefer Firefox because of how their addons work.

It's a shame you can't change default browser on iOS though, hope Apple will change that at some point.


Where do you get this crap? Chrome has far more rendering issues than IE these days.

So it's just a shell for Safari that adds... what? You might as well call it a plug-in for Safari that allows Google to collect data about you.

Edited by BattleDaggit, Jun 28 2012, 6:37pm :

IronChef75 said,
So it's just a shell for Safari that adds... what? You might as well call it a plug-in for Safari that allows Google to collect data about you.

Huh? It adds: Sync, Sync, Sync, and the Omnibox.

I can use it to open and manage my bookmarks on desktop Chrome (no more IE or Safari on Windows for iCloud sync!), the address history is here, and I can even see and use the tabs open on my computer at work via "Other devices". This is awesome! It's doing more for me than the announced features for iOS 6 seem to be about to do.

IronChef75 said,
So it's just a shell for Safari that adds... what? You might as well call it a plug-in for Safari that allows Google to collect data about you.

*facepalm* be gone troll