Google Launches Chrome Beta For Android (Ice Cream Sandwich)

by: Matthew SabatiniFebruary 8, 2012
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Back in 2008, Google released “Google Chrome” to the public. The web browser features speed, simplicity, security and now its own web market jam packed with games, apps, and extensions. Furthermore, Google Chrome has become so popular that in the past 3 years, it has sped past Safari and Firefox into second place in the web browser market share only second to the quickly failing Internet Explorer. Finally, in late 2010, Google distributed around 60,000 Cr-48’s (Chromebooks) that were run completely in Chrome OS (A modified Google Chrome).

It was only a matter of time before Google Chrome reached the mobile market, and today, February 7, Google introduced Chrome Beta for Android.

Chrome Beta for Android is very much like the Chrome you have on your computer. More specifically, Chrome Beta follows the cool three S’s.


Chrome has always been known for its blazing fast web browsing capabilities. Furthermore, the Android version of Chrome will be carrying along “omnibox”. Omnibox is a term used to describe Chrome’s custom address bar. It combines bookmarks, browsing history, url’s, search terms, apps, and more all into the same bar. Furthermore, Chrome for Android will be packing instant search terms and the ability to preload webpages. While I was testing out the app on my Galaxy Nexus, Chrome shoots out results before I could even finish typing. In addition, compared to the stock browser, Chrome most definitely loads webpages quicker.


The second you open Chrome, you can tell that the content dominates the screen. Omnibox only takes up about a 1/4″ of the screen. Furthermore, if your familiar with Chrome, you know that above the omnibox is all of your open tabs. Google knows that you want to maximize your screen and has taken the standard tab system away. In place is a very cool swiping feature that is similar to a deck of cards. The gestures are subtle, fast, and work with an unlimited amount of tabs.


As in the majority of Google’s other products, they push the capability to sync your “personalized Chrome experience” between your computer Android phone and/or tablet. Upon signing in, you can:

  • View open tabs: Any tab that you have open on your computer or other Chrome device is automatically pushed to Chrome Beta.
  • Get smarter suggestions: Similar to Google Instant, Chrome beta boasts autocomplete so that you can “spend less time typing”.
  • Sync bookmarks: Any bookmark saved locally on your Android device, or even on another computer is accessible through your Google account..


Chrome Beta was designed to suit specific screen sizes. Therefore, it is only available on a select number of devices. If your running Android 4.0 or higher, you can download Chrome Beta from the Android Market for free.

  • Anonymous

    With no Flash support, what’s the point? The stock ICS browser has access to my Google bookmarks…

    • what’s the point with flash? Most websites don’t use it anymore, they’ve switched over to HTML5 now. Also Adobe Flash slows down your phone and eats battery when using the browser.

      • @Alexander Maxham And also Chrome mobile has an incredible “tabbed” browsing experience and omnibox. Two things I will take over flash.

        • I really wanted to try it out, but Moto hasn’t rolled out ICS yet for my phone so I can’t try it. But it looks freaking awesome!

    • AppleFUD

      Well, Chrome will actually work for desktop web apps. You know, things like Google Docs ;)

      The Android browser is not very good for anything outside of mobile sites. So, if all you want are mobile sites then you are set with it. For those of us that use a lot of web apps it just doesn’t cut it and we’ve been waiting for Chrome to hit Android for a long time.

      Also, this is most likely the beginning of the merger between Android & Chrome OS.

    • I agree with Alex. Flash is cool to have, but the mobile platform has come so far now that almost everything is in “app” or “mobile” form. Flash is simply not for mobile. And if Google realizes this, then it’s truly over.

  • Chrome Android Beta build, which means there are some features missing and some bugs.

  • Chrome Beta for Android 4.0 release officially, in keeping with Google’s strategy of pushing out products before they are fully ready to see how well they are received.

  • jimbo

    does one use 64 bit chrome for a tf300 quad core Asus Tablet with 4.0 ice cream OS? Do use fedora or debian? can anyone help with advice? Or do I use the 32 bit Chrome flash player?e?