posted on 2012 - 6 - 29 in browser, news

Chrome For iOS

As most of you should know - Google released an iOS version of Chrome. Some people already waited for it, some do not see a point in it. I gave it a short try.

My two devices I used for testing were my iPad first generation and my iPhone 4s. Since I did not have a lot of time I will just give you a short overview what my first impressions are.

Stability

I have seen a lot of crashes on my iPad. I am not sure if Chrome needs more resources than the iPad can provide or if it is just not as bug-free as it should be. There were less crashes on my iPhone.

We Need Tabs - Lots Of Tabs

With Chrome the limitation to a handful tabs is gone. Sadly the implementation is not the best one. Dragging tabs instead of scrolling happened from time to time. I think this is the last thing we should look forward to, since with iOS6 the number of tabs Safari handles is increased.

Synchronization

I mentioned in an earlier last post that picking up your session when you move to your desktop could be a great feature. Chrome already provides this. With Safari we also have to wait till iOS6 is released.

Performance

Let us be honest and technical for one moment. Chrome is just a UIWebView. Nothing else, nothing spectacular. Open Xcode, drag it to your view and tada: you have the same experience than Chrome users. Do not get me wrong, this is not a bad thing. Some crippled self build rendering engine would be far worse.

Ignore all performance arguments and limitations a UIWebView includes. They only apply to JavaScript and beside some heavy single page web applications you will likely never notice it.

Rendering

I experience some lags on my iPad. I see a blurry version of the page if I switch tabs. It is a bit irritating.

I am not a big fan of tabs loading in background. I am often on a slow 3G connection and many parallel requests just plainly suck.

Chrome Features

You get everything. Even private tabs. You can argue about the value of those. For me they are just adding load to my user interface. Other people will like them for sure.

What I Miss Most

There are two things I heavily use. My reading list and "reading mode". Adding a reading mode should not be too hard, so we could see this in one of the next versions.

Conclusion

I have no point in switching browsers. There is no way I would even consider using Chrome on the desktop and so most features that people were looking forward are useless to me. If you are already a Chrome user Chrome for iOS could be great for you. I suggest you give it a try.

For all those who are looking at features like tab synchronization or if you just want more tabs hold on till iOS6 is released. You will get all those shiny things. And because we are talking about iOS we will get the update when it is released and without sacrificing a goat hoping some god will make sure we are the 1%. Come on, I did not flame the whole post, give me this one.

I would love to talk to you about this post, your ideas or awesome projects.

I am @fallenhitokiri on Twitter and GitHub or you can send me a mail.