Google releases Chrome for Android beta

Chrome for Android is finally here, but only Ice Cream Sandwich users will get it.


Google has launched a beta version of Chrome for Android, finally doing what many expected in bringing the browser to its mobile OS.

The beta is only compatible with Android 4.0, otherwise known as Ice Cream Sandwich, but Google has promised it remains focused on delivering speed and simplicity as it does in the desktop Chrome.

"It also features seamless sign-in and sync so you can take your personalised web browsing experience with you wherever you go, across devices," said Sundar Pichai, senior vice president for Google Chrome and Apps, blog post.

"Chrome for Android is designed from the ground up for mobile devices. We reimagined tabs so they fit just as naturally on a small-screen phone as they do on a larger screen tablet. You can flip or swipe between an unlimited number of tabs using intuitive gestures, as if you're holding a deck of cards in the palm of your hands, each one a new window to the web."

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Google talked up a Link Preview feature in the mobile browser, which will automatically zoom in on links to make selecting the right one simpler.

We built Chrome for Android with privacy in mind from the beginning.

Using its cloudy skills, Google account holders running Chrome on the desktop will also be able to view tabs they leave open on their PCs and sync bookmarks across the different versions of the browser.

There's also an incognitio' mode for private browsing something rival mobile browsers like Apple's Safari do not yet offer.

"As with Chrome on desktop, we built Chrome for Android with privacy in mind from the beginning," Pichai added.

Google has come under fire these past few weeks over its privacy policy changes, which saw 60 of its services rolled into one document and made allowances for the company to share data between them.

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Noted security researcher and Twitter employee Moxie Marlinspike told IT Pro Google was "not really holding up their end of the bargain."

See below for Google's video on Chrome for Android:

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