Google Chrome browser for iPhone, iPad in App Store now!

Google Chrome browser for iPhone, iPad in App Store now!

At Google I/O 2012 today, Google announced they'll be bringing their Chrome web browser to the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Today. Now in fact.

Free - Download now

Before anyone gets too excited, however, it's important to remember that alternate local web browsers on iOS all have to use UIWebView to render HTML content, and don't get access to Nitro Apple's less secure, but faster just-in-time JavaScript engine. That means Google Chrome on iOS will be slower for JavaScript intensive sites than Safari.

So no Chrome-specific WebKit implementation. No V8 JavaScript engine. No ability to open pages in Chrome instead of Safari. Nothing beyond what any other browser in the App Store gets.

But this isn't a rendering play by Google -- this is an interface and services play.

Google Chrome on iOS will bring with it the Chrome aesthetic, and more importantly, all the sync features Chrome desktop and Chrome for Android users enjoy. If you have a PC, an Android phone, and an iPad, you now have a seamless, synced experience between all your device. For Chrome lovers, that's huge.

Speaking of which, Google also used I/O 2012 to announce Chrome as the world's most popular browser.

We'll be back later with a full review -- including a look at how Chrome on iPhone and iPad stacks up to Safari and Chrome for Android. So stay tuned. And for more from Google I/O 2012, keep it locked to our Mobile Nations sibling site, Android Central.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 40 comments. Add yours.

BeyondtheTech says:

But, clicking a link in an email or a game will take you to... Safari still, right?

striatic says:

yes.
but the introduction of chrome might change that if there is enough of an uproar and pressure from the DoJ and EU about opening up the browser marketplace [something similar happened to MS and IE, you might recall]

Rambo says:

That's why you jailbreak! Browserchanger will fix that.

19mitch79 says:

Thanks for this info but the downside is that its not a supported browser yet! Hope dev updates soon!

dloveprod says:

Nice to have new apps, I can't wait for google+ for the iPad.

JPiLLa says:

ahhh, so you are one of the 50% of people who actually use their Google + account...

johncblandii says:

Count me in too. G+ user and proud. :)

Rob White says:

And that is about 100% more people than used Ping. Just a guess but I bet it's close.

Guest 1 says:

Speaking of Google apps for iOS, I'm still waiting for the announcement at Google IO for a Google Maps app for iOS. The suspense is murdering me. I'm hoping against hope that they announce it tomorrow...?

FrankRow says:

I only use Google+ to back up my pictures on my iPhone!

mike says:

will the browser support flash?

D4RkNIKON says:

Chrome doesn't support flash on Android devices. What makes you think it would support flash on an iOS device?

jlewsader says:

Flash on mobiles is the LEAST concern of almost ANY browser with all of the HTML5 hype now

flyingember says:

it's never going to happen. Adobe stopped development for new mobile flash platforms. And Flash in any browser on iOS would take that new development via Apple

johncblandii says:

I can't wait for this. Apple needs to fix Safari as the default but I'm willing to close Safari for every automatic open to paste in Chrome's omnibox.
A synchronized browsing experience across my laptop/phone and no my iPad...awesome.

Dev says:

I love Chrome, and use it on all my desktops, Mac and non-Mac. But speed, speed, speed is what Chrome is justifiably known for. It seems odd for Google to give that name to something that (through no fault of their own) will always be slower than the competition.

allmotor91 says:

That's because it's not any faster. It's slower on an iPhone. But feel free to believe what you want.

Dev says:

whoooosh as the point zooms over your head

flyingember says:

what's the reason to go out of my way to use it? the reason for Chrome is the javascript engine.
and doesn't ios require using apple's engine for any browser?

Dev says:

Aside from any personal interface preferences, the main reason to go out of your way to use Chrome on iOS is if you use chrome on other devices, and want to pick up where you left off in your browsing. I installed it on my iPhone and iPad, and it is somewhat handy to be able to call up the pages you were reading on one device on your phone, without having to search, bookmark, or mail to yourself. If that is a strong use case for you -- say, reading pages at work and continuing with them on the way home, or checking a map on the web on your computer and having the same map ready on your phone when you leave -- that is a good reason to use chrome.
But from my limited use so far it is not as smooth as mobile safari -- Apple's limitations on UIWebView do hurt it.

Vanti says:

The feature you spoke about using maps on your desktop or laptop and then continuing where you left off on your iphone..... is that even going to work properly seeing as how google's map data is being pulled in os6?

Farid Rahmi says:

(on Ipad3) Loads pages faster on most sites I tried, not so smooth scrolling as Safari on e.g. Imore.com.
Not bad at all for a 1.x release, might use it instead of Safari for some sites.

Aldo says:

Very jerky on an iPad 1 compared to safari. I really wish apple would open up iOS more so we can genuinely have alternative browsers. Making them use the same engine as safari, yet not giving them access to the best performance is just pointless

Rob White says:

Interesting to read some of you want Apple to open up iOS so that alternatives like Chrome can better utilize it. Of couse this is Apple so it will never happen. Interesting none the less.

Aldo says:

It's part of why I'm close to leaving iOS and trying android for the first time. Safari on a mac is poor but at least we can pick something else. Knowing others make better browsers than Apple, why do we have to put up with safari on the iPhone?!

Rob White says:

I would think a little longer before I made that jump. I've got major issues with Android. It's still my platform of choice mind you. But the garbage of dealing with the manufacturer & carrier, neither of which seems to want to fix the problem, is driving me up a tree. And is making me consider going fully unlocked phone with a prepay sim.

dloveprod says:

I like how it syncs tabs across devices.

frog says:

So this is just a slower version of Safari with a different icon? yawn

iVazz says:

Loving the sync. Hate that Browser Changer isn't setup/updated for Chrome, but it just came out. AdBlock isn't working for Chrome yet tho. I'm jailbroken btw.

robnaj says:

I am loving chrome I added it to my dock. I love the intergration with my chrome book and MacBook running Chrome. Also Chrome plus PodCast app I 98% never need iTunes and I never knew how bad iTunes is tell now I am not using it much.

DonS50 says:

Another great tool for my iPhone & iPad! (not all iPhone users have Macs)

jamend81 says:

So far so good. It's running smooth and fast on my 4s.

Billfnbragg says:

Im loving this browser on my 4s kills safari and is now added to my dock as well love the ability sync all my stuff and continue reading when i need to.

allmotor91 says:

That a good one. Just don't go to any java sights.

kAwz says:

not seeing it in the app store..... >_<

Fas says:

Its hanging again and again on my iphone. Anyone else have this problem?

Matt says:

Liking chrome for IOS. On an iPhone 4. Seems to go about as fast a safari to me, I love using chrome never have been a big fan of safari anyways. I like the tab functionality and the syncing between devices. Feels solid for the first chrome app for IOS.

John says:

It is bizaar to me that you can't by default use the browser of your choice. Just an Android feature I took for granted.

DARK_BLU says:

This is awesome. I haven't found a way to synch my bookmarks yet, but if that and Google Docs would work, this would be even better.

Vanti says:

the fact alone that i cannot switch chrome to be my native browser stopped me from downloading it. Apple should at least include the functionality that if you have another browser installed on your ipad or iphone it gives the option to "open in chrome", "open in dolphin" etc..
Having to open a link in safari then copy and paste to chrome.... ugh its the little things like these that drive me insane