So, how long have we been waiting for this to happen? Google has finally unveiled the future if the Android browser: it has no future. Google unveiled Chrome for
Android Ice Cream Sandwich, and has designated it as the future default browser for the Android platform.
For reasons beyond my knowledge, the stock Android browser is regarded as not particularly good – I honestly wouldn’t know since it functions just fine on my Galaxy SII. However, with so many consistent complaints about it, I’m guessing I’m just lucky. As such, Google has now released Chrome for Android, in beta form.
It brings lots of cool features from the desktop Chrome to mobile devices, such as the invaluable incognito mode. The browser does promise to solve one thing that really bothers me about the stock Android browser: the silly limit of eight tabs open. There’s no limit on Chrome for Android. The sync feature is also particularly welcome – the pages open in your desktop Chrome will be waiting for you on your phone (in groups; one for each device).
Another major advantage: faster updates. Chrome for Android will be updated every six weeks, which is pretty damn quick for a mobile browser. All this will happen through the Android Market.
Since Adobe had already announced plans to discontinue Flash for mobile anyway, Chrome for Android does not include it. “As we announced last November, Adobe is no longer developing Flash Player for mobile browsers, and thus Chrome for Android Beta does not support Flash content,” Adobe said in a statement, “Flash Player continues to be supported within the current Android browser.”
From here on out, Chrome is going to be the default browser for Android – the big problem here is, though, that barely anyone can actually use this new browser. It’s only available for Ice Cream Sandwich users, meaning about one percent of Android users can actually, you know, use it, which illustrates just how much the update climate sucks in the Android world.
Oh, great! Now how about fixing your horrible platform fragmentation so more than 2% of Android users can take advantage of this update?