After what seems like forever, Google has finally released Chrome for iOS. For all intents and purposes, Chrome For iOS is a worthy alternative to Mobile Safari but thanks to Apple’s policy and constraints on third-party browsers it’s not quite as fast. Chrome for iOS is not that much slower than Mobile Safari but it isn’t able to leverage Apple’s Nitro feature for “security” reasons. Instead, third-party developers are forced to use a variant of an older, pre-Nitro version, called UIWebView. As a foundation its ok and will render pages with the same graphically details as Mobile Safari but it’s not as fast and you do notice it.
Discounting the speed thing, Chrome for iOS outshines Mobile Safari in terms of UI and graphical presentation easily. On the iPhone tabs arrange themselves into neat rows that include each page’s site title (thank you). With a swipe of your finger these tabs can be flicked off the screen to exit them. The big question that you really want to know is whether or not its worth forgoing Apple’s built-in Mobile Safari, the truth is it depends.
If you are an average user that just likes to occasionally browse on your phone and you are not a Google Chrome user on your desktop machine then I would say that at this point there isn’t a huge compelling reason why you need Chrome for iOS. On the other hand, if you do use Chrome as your primary browser on your computer then Chrome for iOS is a no brainer and a must have. Chrome for iOS syncs history, bookmarks, and even tabs without breaking a sweat. If the app ever crashes, you even get a “restore tabs” prompt, just like on your regular computer. Chrome power users should install this app immediately, it will allow you to keep your browser synched just about anywhere you go, no more bookmarking something on your phone and then getting home and having to bookmark it again. I’m not a huge Chrome fan, still waiting on them to fix the “anchor handle” issue which is huge for any site that uses WordPress as its backend, without it quickly resizing pictures becomes a pain.
So there you have it folks, Chrome for iOS is a must have for folks who use it on their desktop but still not quite compelling enough that it would warrant folks who aren’t heavy users of the desktop version to jump ship. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference. Chrome for iOS is currently available in the App Store along with the new Google Drive App as well. Take a look at the video below to see exactly what Chrome for iOS can do for you.