Google has launched a beta version of their Chrome browser for Android smartphones but unfortunately it will only work on models running Android 4.0. I decided to put it through its paces on the Samsung Google Nexus smartphone and within minutes I was impressed.On both my notebook and desktop PC I use Chrome for the simple reason that it is faster than Internet Explorer. It also allows me to easily manage bookmarks and key folders while giving me easy access to Google Docs.
After downloading the new software from the Android Marketplace, the first thing you notice is that the Chrome search and address bar does not leave the screen at any time and the tabs are different from the desktop version of Chrome.
You don’t have to log into your Google account, but I did because I wanted to sync my bookmarks.
In the past I have use Chrome Marks to manage my bookmarks but with the new Chrome Beta I was able to sync my bookmarks in minutes.
I also found that reading articles using the new Chrome was easier despite the fact that Google has not moved to modify text being displayed in the browser.
What it does allow you to do is easily zoom in and out using a double tap of the screen.
You can also search within a page to find specific information. Using the menu, one can easily open a new tab or go to a bookmark with various pages being stacked in a view mode. This is much better than what Firefox offers in their Beta.
There are also incognito windows which is great for people who don’t want other people to see what they are accessing, such as porn. To access these pages you go to the tabs page and swipe from the right. The incognito pages appear in dark blue and are also stacked together.
The standout feature is that pages load very fast with the new browser, which when being used on a 4G phone running on the Telstra Next G network will significantly speed up access to content.
The introduction of safe browsing allows a user to scan downloads as well as Web sites. If there is a problem a red warning page appears on the smartphone.
It also analyses installation files and if a file is not on a Google whitelist it gets flicked. What Chrome appears to do is heck it against Google’s search index to see if the site you’re downloading is a known problem site. It also flicks “fake antivirus” programs.
The bottom line is that this is the best ever browser for a smartphone and one that will be hard to beat as Google has integrated features with the OS to deliver a superior user experience.
Remember this is just the start so everything should get better from here on in.