Yesterday marked the release of Google’s Chrome browser’s first foray into the world of Android, so we thought how better to celebrate than with a hands on video?
While iOS and Windows Phone 7 have been using their creator’s native web browsers for a while now (Safari and Internet Explorer 9), Android’s use of the Webkit layout engine, while functional lacked tight integration with Google’s desktop experience. With Chrome for Android however, all this is changing. The OS feeds the web browser your profile and the browser becomes instantly populated with your desktop favourites and login details as soon as you verify that you are indeed firstname.lastname@example.org.
On top of quickly firing across all your bookmarks, usernames and passwords between devices, Chrome for Android also does a great job of tabbed browsing. Offering either a card view for vertical thumbing through windows, or gesture support, with a swipe left or right resulting in a quick transition between tabs. Google have even put a fun visualisation in the tabbed view, allowing for a 3D card flip if you swipe up five times.
Another nice touch includes HTML 5 support, and therefore video playback. While there’s no Flash and Adobe have confirmed they won’t be porting it onto Chrome Beta, as you can see in the hands-on below, video is still handled well with playback even continuing when in the tabbed, card style view.
Caching pages is also something Chrome for Android takes it upon itself to do as well as ensure your privacy is maintained with its incognito mode.
If you want to try out Chrome for Android, the Beta is only available for devices running Android 4.0, so officially, just the Nexus’ and the Asus Eee Pad Transformer spring to mind. We were able test it out on an HTC Sensation running an alpha build of ICS however, so it is indeed compatible with home-brew ICS if you’re rooted and booted.
We’re excited to see what becomes of Chrome for Android: when we can expect a full version, will it be ported to other mobile OSs and will make its way across all Android iterations or stick to ICS and above? Check out the video below and if you’ve used it or have strong thoughts about Chrome Beta for Android, drop us a comment below.