Google Chrome for iOS – alternative browser [App of the Week]
What is Google Chrome for iOS?
It’s a version of Google’s desktop web browser, Chrome, for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It’s free to download.
For more app recommendations, read our app reviews.
5 things to like about Google Chrome for iOS
- It syncs bookmarks with the desktop version
If you use Chrome on your PC, or even your Mac, then Chrome on iOS adds the precious ability to sync your bookmarks across every gadget you use. It’s a convenient but priceless addition, and usernames and passwords are also ported across.
- It’s just as fast as Apple’s browser
There are conflicting reports as to whether Google Chrome on iOS is slower or faster than Apple’s own Mobile Safari browser, but so far I’ve found it to be very quick – sometimes it seems faster, sometimes slower, but the difference either way is barely noticeable.
- You can search by voice
Just like Chrome for Android, which unfortunately is limited to Android version 4.0 or higher, Chrome for iOS has voice search built-in. It’s not 100% perfect, but 95% of the time it works great and saves time over typing by hand, particularly when you’re out and about.
- It remembers the last page you looked at
Just as it syncs bookmarks, it also keeps a record the last pages you looked at in any Chrome browser. That means you can be reading a mobile phone review on Which.co.uk on your PC, and then quickly open the exact same page on your phone or tablet.
- It’s got a private browsing
Mobile Safari has a private browsing mode too, but Chrome’s version is easier to access – in Safari you have to enable it via the Settings menu, but in Chrome you just have to select ‘New Incognito tab’ from the menu. It’s useful if you want to avoid tracking cookies, or open sensitive websites such as online banking and payment sites.
Google Chrome for iOS – Andy’s first impressions
There’s little to dislike about Chrome for iOS. It’s fast – I’ve found it faster than Apple’s browser in many instances, but where it’s slower the difference isn’t noticeable. I use Chrome on all my other PCs, including at work, so having all my bookmarks and passwords already there for me is a massive plus. And the basic interface, particularly the combined address and search bar (a trademark Chrome feature), is slick and easy to use.
Indeed, the only downside is that, due to Apple’s limitations, it’s not possible to make it your default browser. That means if you select a link in another app, it’ll automatically open in Apple’s browser. That aside, it’s a great browser that’s made even better if you use Chrome elsewhere.
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