Application Review: Google Chrome

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Google is well known for many things: Maps, Android, Play… Well, none of these things are available on iOS as of the 6.0 release anyways (enjoy Google’s Maps while you still can). For the longest time, Safari has reigned as the browser for iOS. Well, recently, Google announced something else that wasn’t available to iOS… Chrome, for iOS. Does it have what it takes to overtake Safari as the browser to go to on iOS, or is it just another flop up?

Features

Chrome comes to iOS feature-packed. There are many, many features. That said, I’ll only touch base on the main ones. So let’s begin with the fact that it’s Chrome. The comfy unibar that we have all come accustomed to. Something even Firefox users (like myself) want to emulate with Omnibar. It works the same as it does on the PC, but also allows you to do a voice search. Although the voice search is good at best, it’s still there, and a feature not present in Safari.
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Voice searching is one big thing that isn’t included in Safari.
Chrome, much like Safari, syncs with you. By simply logging into your GMail account, you are instantly connected to your other devices; whether it be a Mac, PC, desktop, Android phone, or even your iPad. It syncs it all in one place for you to go.
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Are all your devices synchronized in iOS? Maybe if you use Safari. Well, Chrome users get the same treatment.
Another useful feature is the familiar grid we are presented with whenever we open up a new tab. Let’s face it, anything is more useful than that blank white page we get with iOS, anything. The home screen not only lets you view your most recent history, but it also gives quick access to your bookmarks and device information.
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Safari gives a white screen, Chrome gives you this… ‘Nuff said.
If you find the need to, you can enter a URL, or type in a search. When Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone, he proclaimed that he had some smart keyboards that would adapt to the user. Google didn’t think iOS’ keyboard was good enough, so they added some buttons to it. In return, we get a new keyboard that is a little easier, and better to use for a web-browser.
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An updated keyboard allows users to search, or type in URLs, whichever they choose to do.

Of course, we can’t forget tabs. This is also something iOS has, but iOS limits you. Chrome allows you to break these limits and allows the free RAM you have decide how many tabs you should have. That said, you can open as many as you wish, until you crash.

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Want more tabs? Switch to Chrome!

Chrome seems very feature-packed, but it is missing out on a few features I’d love to see. Addon are what made Chrome special in my mind. It makes any browser special for that matter, but it’s absent in the mobile version. Another thing that mobile Chrome needs is full-screen browsing. Apple introduced it in iOS6, it’s a great feature, why didn’t Google think to implement it in their browser?

Features: ★★★★½

Graphics

Safari got an all new makeover with iOS 6… OK, not really, everything just got matted. The Safari interface is trite, old, and slightly out of date. The new Chrome interface is well-known, but also refreshing when put into the mobile platform. This would be, in my mind, the reason you switch to Chrome on iOS 6. Popup menus as well as quicker navigation around UI elements are all reasons to really dump Safari for good.

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I’m not a fan of popups, but its still a step up from what Safari offers.

Controlling Chrome is really quite easy as well. Buttons are well displayed, and only show what you need. The tab interface is probably one of the best I’ve seen before and integrates gesture control nicely allowing you to swipe away tabs in a quick and easy fashion.

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Swipe control in the tabs is very natural, I wish more gesture control was added.

Graphics: ★★★★★

Reuse

Chrome runs smoothly on iOS, and I wouldn’t expect it any other way. It’s quicker, modernized menu is a lot faster, menu navigation-wise, to Safari. The interface is easy to learn since most users already know it. However, the lack of a full screen mode really takes Chrome down a couple notches. It’s a good browser for light, everyday browsing, but lack of power-features like downloading and full-screen can take away from the entire experience.

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Need to go private? Well, you don’t have to go into settings to do this anymore, thanks to Chrome!

Reuse: ★★★★

Value

I can’t really deny that Google Chrome is worth the price asked in the App Store. It is free anyhow. There really is no reason not to get it. I’m sure future updates will be given to allow the missing features. The interface is beautiful, there are a bountiful number of features as well. Chrome really is a lot better to browse with over Safari, while you’re in iOS 5 anyways.

Value: ★★★★★

Final Thoughts

Google brought Chrome into a matured OS that has had its users crying for something new when Safari just didn’t cut it feature-wise. Google brought all the features they could that we wanted. One feature did slip their mind though. Despite that, Chrome is a worthwhile download and has the potential to take down Safari anyway now.

Overall Score

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iTunes App Store: Google Chrome

† All prices are in US currency.
This review was written by the iFans.com Review Team. Cumulative scores are rounded to the nearest half or full star.
All accessories, applications, themes, tweaks, or other products were purchased by iFans at their respective prices unless stated otherwise.
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