Review: Google Chrome for iOS looks good but runs slow

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By Staff /  29 Jun 2012 , 11:51

Day two of Google’s I/O conference saw the launch of two important products, Chrome for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and Google Drive for all iOS devices.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome for iOS is finally here, a day after the Android version of the app was launched. So what’s the verdict on Google’s popular browser for iOS? It appears to be much slower on iOS devices as compared to the Android version.

According to TechCrunch, this is because it’s hobbled by Apple’s rules for third-part developers and doesn’t feature Google’s fast JavaScript rendering engine. Instead, as Google confirmed to us earlier today, it uses Apple’s relatively slow UIWebView to render web pages and that sadly means the browsing experience on iOS isn’t exactly optimal.

Chrome for iOS. Screengrab from YouTube.

This does appear to be true especially when compared to Safari. Chrome for iOS also comes with a customised keyboard with colon, comma, hyphen and backslash buttons and ‘.com’ button on top of the Qwerty keyboard. It appears when you use the native Google search bar in the app and not when you’re search on Google.co.in

Multiple tab browsing looks quite nice on Chrome for iOS. Users can click on the Tab symbol on the extreme right and browse which tab they want to switch to. The slide-down stacked interface for multiple tabs has quite a cool feel to it.

You can sync your Chrome browser on phone with your desktop by signing in when you log into the app. Private Browsing, or Incognito Window as they call it in Chrome is also available on the app.

According to Google’s blogpost, Chrome has nearly doubled since last year’s I/O – from 160 million to 310 million active users around the world.

The battle of the browsers begins with Chrome for iOS.

Google Drive

With everybody going on the cloud, Google also launched a version of its Google Drive for iOS. This is crucial as the Drive app offers support for Google Docs, and it could give rival Dropbox a serious competition.

Google Drive application for iOS has a similar outlook to the Android app. When you launch the app you wil see all your Google Drive folders,your shared files, starred files, recent files, and those available offline. You will need a Doc editing software on your device if you want to edit your documents on your Apple device or you can use Safari to do it online.


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