The stable version of Chrome has finally arrived on the Play Store a couple of days ago, but Google has also made Chrome available for the iOS platform the next day.
Within a day, Chrome for iOS managed to become the most installed application in Apple’s store. This probably surprised some, but considering that Chrome is now the most popular browser in the world (not counting IE7, IE8 and IE9 in aggregate), and has 310 million users, it’s guaranteed to have a lot of Apple users who also love using Chrome, so they wanted to try it out as soon as possible.
Unfortunately for iOS users interested in Chrome, they get to experience once again how Apple’s restrictions on iOS can hurt them. First off, Apple doesn’t allow any third party application, including other browsers, to become the “default” app on iOS, even though the option would be a huge benefit for many users who prefer using other apps instead of Apple’s products. Some good examples that come in mind are Gmail, now Chrome, and Google Maps (if Google decides to release a Maps app for iOS).
All of this seems pretty anti-competitive and anti-user to me, and the DoJ should probably take a look at this. The only reason they aren’t is probably because they don’t think the problem is big enough for them to interfere. But it’s not like the Government hasn’t tried to keep Apple responsible before, with the privacy issues. Maybe it’s just an issue about public outcry. Apple usually responds to huge user outcry if it turns into a big PR problem for them.
At the very least, Google’s Chrome on iOS will be a “trojan horse” that gets iOS users hooked on Chrome, and some of them might want to switch to an Android device to experience the “real Chrome”, just like many professionals today can’t give up their Android phone because of the much better Gmail experience.