Photo: Steve Kovach, Business Insider
It was always a bit baffling that Google decided to ship Android with a stock web browser when Chrome has been absolutely crushing it on the PC.But starting today, Google has a fresh (beta) version of Chrome made specifically for Android phones and tablets.
Click here for screenshots >
The downside: It only works if you have the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. Right now, Ice Cream Sandwich only runs on a minuscule number of Android devices. (About 1% of them at last count.) You probably don’t have it.
That’s a shame, since a lot of Android phone owners who bought their phones last year are getting screwed by smartphone makers and will probably never get Ice Cream Sandwich. They won’t get to try Chrome either.
Luckily, we do have a phone running Ice Cream Sandwich on hand to test the Chrome app out.
We like it.
Chrome is simple, lightweight, and syncs perfectly with the desktop version of the browser using your Google Account. As soon as you log in all your bookmarks, open tabs, search history, etc. are there waiting for you.
It also handles tabs a lot better than just about every other mobile browser we’ve used. A simple swipe to the left or right lets you cycle through open tabs as if they were stacked like a deck of cards. It’s a lot more satisfying than Ice Cream Sandwich’s default browser that makes you go through at least two taps to start cycling through browser windows.
Keep reading for a full look at the new Chrome for Android.