(Relaxnews) – For years Android device owners have been using a generic “browser” app to surf the web on their smartphones. Meanwhile Google has toiled away at its increasingly popular desktop browser, Chrome, but remained quiet on the smartphone browser front.
Now Android owners running version 4.0, aka Ice Cream Sandwich (approximately 1 percent of the current Android-owning population) will be able to download the mobile version of Chrome.
Chrome for Android is currently in its beta phase. Like its desktop cousin, Chrome for Android Beta aims to make the browsing experience simple yet speedy.
Chrome for Android “features seamless sign-in and sync so you can take your personalized web browsing experience with you wherever you go, across devices,” said Sundar Pichai, SVP, Chrome and Apps in a February 7 blog post.
It will be interesting to see if Google creates an iOS version of its browser to compete with Apple’s own mobile Safari browser. Rival mobile web browsers including Opera, (a slimmed down version of) Firefox, Atomic and Skyfire are already available in the Apple App Store.
In Novemer 2011 ZDNet drew parallels between the Google Search for iPad app and Google’s Chrome OS — an operating system that uses web apps within Google’s Chrome browser — and called the “updated Google Search app for iOS … a dead ringer for Chrome OS when running on the iPad.”
The Chrome for Android app is available now in the Android Market for smartphones and tablets running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.