ElCondor · Feb 16, 2012 at 04:00 pm

XDA Review: Google Chrome Beta for Android

It was just a matter of time before Google would come up with their mobile version of Chrome. The desktop version has been a great success, even though it was pretty isolated from any other Google service. With the coming of Chrome Beta for Android (we’ll be calling it Chrome Beta in the rest of this article), Google developers hope to create a connection between Android smartphones and desktops. We’ll not work with cliffhangers this time and just admit it already: they truly did an awesome job at doing just that. They made Google Beta and Google desktop work together extremely well.

So why did Google come up with a mobile browser, while there is a pretty good Android browser already? After you’ve read the review, you’ll probably have found the answer. We can already tell you that this is a pretty big step forward for the Android user experience, not only because of its integration with Chrome desktop, but also because of  its renewing design and animations.

 

Installation and setup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The application comes in a ~50 Mb package, but takes up about 55 Mb on your memory, depending on the amount of cache memory that’s being used. After starting the app, we’re instantly faced with a sign-in page, which enables the app to connect with Chrome Desktop. Skipping this step is possible, but then you’ll miss the whole point of Chrome Beta. After signing in, we’re being introduced into the various functions of the app.

 

Functions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The interface is pretty straight-forward. At the bottom, there are three main ‘sources’ of websites: most visited, favorites and open tabs. The most visited section shows us, how surprising, our most visited websites, along with recently closed websites. It looks quite similar to Chrome Desktop’s interface when you open a new tab: the websites are actually displayed as miniatures, allowing us to locate the site at a glance.  The favorites section is divided in three parts: desktop bookmarks, mobile bookmarks and other bookmarks. It is very convenient that these bookmarks are being separated from each other – though it is possible to create a desktop bookmark on your phone. The open tabs section is probably the most interesting one. All websites (tabs) that we currently have open on our desktop, are also being listed on our phone. Say you’re browsing the web with Chrome Desktop and you found a website containing an address you want to send to a friend by sending a text message; the only thing you have to do is clicking the link on your phone and letting it load the webpage, copy and paste the text and you’re done. It’s that easy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another important aspect of Chrome Beta is the Tabs function. All tabs are basically stapled together like a WebOS-esque stack of cards. Browsing through this stack can be done by swiping up and down, while swiping a card to the right will close it. At the top there’s an unmistakable New tab button, which opens up a new card and brings us to the aforementioned most visited, favorites or open tabs sections.

The menu shows a quick favorite button, next and previous buttons, and functions such as New tab, New Incognito tab, bookmarks and share. Yeah that’s right, Chrome’s beloved Incognito mode is now available on your mobile phone too. It is based on the card system too, and the stack is displayed right next to the normal stack.

 

Experience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So far, we’re really impressed not only by the features, but also the looks and animations of Chrome Beta. Animations are buttery smooth, scrolling through the card system works great and there’s no lag at all. Its looks are consistent with the Ice Cream Sandwich design – which is by definition just beautiful. The incognito tabs show up in a darker color scheme, reflecting what everyone probably associates with anonymous browsing activities.

Wrap-up

 

All in all, we can’t say much negative about Chrome Beta. Well actually, nothing negative at all. It just feels consistent throughout all functions, and it is a major step forward in mobile browsing experience. We think Google’s strategy on Chrome is to create a cross-platform ecosystem in which the website browsing experience is shared along all devices. For now, that strategy seems to work.


_________
Want something on the XDA Portal? Send us a tip!

ElCondor

ElCondor is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. View ElCondor's posts and articles here.
Jimmy McGee · May 26, 2015 at 06:00 am · 3 comments

XPrivacy for Android Lollipop – XDA Xposed Tuesday

Have you ever been on the Google Play Store and saw an app that you wanted to try, but the sheer amount of permissions put you off? Why does a LED Color app need access to my calendar? Sometimes app developers tell you that it’s because of the ads. However, other times, apps don’t explain why they are spying on your text messages. In this episode of XDA Xposed Tuesday, XDA TV Producer TK reviews an Xposed Module that enables...

XDA NEWS
Mario Tomás Serrafero · May 25, 2015 at 02:00 pm · 2 comments

XDA Office Space: Frankenstein’s Perfect IM Client?

The portal’s decentralized XDA office lies in a Hangouts chatroom, where we discuss the latest developments that hit the blogosphere, critique them and figure out what we can do to add a new or original point of view. We came to love this little virtual office, which sees messaging 24/7 due to the international nature of our team. The main problem that we have faced since early on is that Hangouts is not versatile enough for in-depth discussion.   What...

XDA NEWS
Emil Kako · May 25, 2015 at 12:32 pm · 4 comments

Which IM Client on Android is best?

With so many different messengers to choose from, it can be tough to find the best one for you and your friends to use. Hangouts, Whatsapp, Telegram and more are all battling it out for the number one spot. Let us know which IM client you think is best on Android and why.

DISCUSS
Share This