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 (opens in new tab)

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

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

  • But, clicking a link in an email or a game will take you to... Safari still, right?
  • 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]
  • That's why you jailbreak! Browserchanger will fix that.
  • Thanks for this info but the downside is that its not a supported browser yet! Hope dev updates soon!
  • Nice to have new apps, I can't wait for google+ for the iPad.
  • ahhh, so you are one of the 50% of people who actually use their Google + account...
  • Count me in too. G+ user and proud. :)
  • And that is about 100% more people than used Ping. Just a guess but I bet it's close.
  • 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...?
  • I only use Google+ to back up my pictures on my iPhone!
  • will the browser support flash?
  • Chrome doesn't support flash on Android devices. What makes you think it would support flash on an iOS device?
  • Flash on mobiles is the LEAST concern of almost ANY browser with all of the HTML5 hype now
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • That's because it's not any faster. It's slower on an iPhone. But feel free to believe what you want.
  • whoooosh as the point zooms over your head
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • (on Ipad3) Loads pages faster on most sites I tried, not so smooth scrolling as Safari on e.g.
    Not bad at all for a 1.x release, might use it instead of Safari for some sites.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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?!
  • 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.
  • I like how it syncs tabs across devices.
  • So this is just a slower version of Safari with a different icon? yawn
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Another great tool for my iPhone & iPad! (not all iPhone users have Macs)
  • So far so good. It's running smooth and fast on my 4s.
  • 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.
  • That a good one. Just don't go to any java sights.
  • not seeing it in the app store..... >_<
  • Its hanging again and again on my iphone. Anyone else have this problem?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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