Google have finally made the move and Chrome is now available on the iOS systems iPhone and iPad. Google argue that Chrome is the most popular browser available at the moment and it is definitely popular especially with the ability to propagate the browser settings over numerous computers and now onto your tablet and phone.
The problem they may have though is now Google have moved into Apple’s domain they have to play by Apple’s rules. This means that Google has to run through Apple’s WebKit and there is definitely no flash available. Will these restrictions hold the browser back or will there be enough advantages to Chrome to make people want to use this over Safari?
When you first start using Chrome it offers you tutorials to get you used to the changes for the browser. It’s a nice user interface that intuitive and does not over complicate things, on the top you have a tab bar which collects the pages you have open. You are able to scroll through these to find the ones you want easily enough with no problems. On the iPhone you have to click on the tabs and this will bring up a list of available ones, this is a nice space saver.
Google are quite cheeky in their design as you’ll notice little additions that make the interface more like an Android App. This includes the look of the menus that are available. This is easy to get used to though and no real issue for Apple users who probably won’t even notice it.
The main functionality is of course as a browser, but just like on the desktop version of Chrome if you save your settings and tab selections on one machine it is available on all of the others, this includes iOS gadgets. This is a nice touch and very unique (even though Apple is bringing it in soon themselves). Until Apple does decide to provide it Chrome has an edge with this.
As mentioned there are limitations to what Chrome can do. Google had to go by Apple’s rules so this means that the browser has to run through their system. This does make the browser slow at times, slower than Safari but this is through Google not being able to use the same code as Safari does. There is also no flash which is normal for Apple as they do all they can do to keep it off their gadgets.
With its nice design and fast interface overall (it’s the actual browser engine that is slowed down through the limitations put on it) this is a nice alternative to Safari. The fact you can synchronise your settings over your various computers and now iOS systems is also a nice addition. Added to this there is of course the Incognito mode for people interested in their security.
Google have done a good job providing people with another choice other than Safari and it’s a shame that the browser itself is limited because of the WebKit API. Maybe in the future this will change and Google will be able to speed up the App itself and provide a better experience.