App Review: Chrome for Android
Chrome for Android was in beta a long time (much like it’s desktop brother, which more or less always remains in beta). With the Google I/O event, Chrome was finally announced as a final and stable release, in addition to being released for the iPhone and iPad too. Today we’ll have a quick look at Chrome for Android, and see how the most popular browser in the world does on a tablet.
Test Tablet Specifications:
- 1 GHz Alwinner A10 Chipset (ARM Cortex A8)
- Mali 400 MP1 GPU
- 512 MB RAM
- 7″ 800×480 capacitive display
- Android 4.0.4 ICS
The immediate first impression you will have upon starting the browser is it’s striking familiarity with the Stock ICS Browser. After all, both were made by google so why not? But the difference is, Chrome loads much much faster. This falls in line with the Desktop edition, which received much praise for it’s instant start-up when Chrome was first launched to public.
Page rendering is slightly slow for our liking. The browser shows the complete desktop website, but it suffices to say that it is tad slow. Scrolling through our website Gadgetronica was both slow and often unresponsive. Granted our website is somewhat on the heavy side, but this shouldn’t be a problem for modern browsers. Pinch-to-zoom was working great once the site fully loaded. So was kinetic scrolling, which was ‘almost’ lag free. However, the website took well over a minute to complete load which is slightly disappointing. On the other hand, the stock browser took almost the same amount of time, however the loading seemed much smoother and faster with the website actually browsable in the early stages of loading itself. On the other hand, gsmarena loaded up much faster owning to a lighter webpage.
Adding bookmarks is just as simple as touching the star icon at the end of the address bar. Voice search is enabled and works like a charm. Even with my Indian accent, I was thankful the voice recognition software didn’t mess up horrible, unlike most voice recognition softwares I have come across.
Flash works and High Quality videos were playing smoothly on the browser. However, if you really want to browse just youtube, the youtube app does best.
Tabbed Browsing works just like the desktop version. But unless you have a really powerful tablet (unlike our test sample) it really won’t be much of an experience. It is quite safe to say that Opera here provides a much better experience. So if tabbed browsing is the way to go on a slow connection and weak specifications tablet/smartphone, then Opera is the way to go.
Incognito Browsing works the way it should, just like on the desktop.
You can sync all your bookmarks from your desktop Chrome by simply signing into your chrome/google account.
Despite this version of Chrome being the first stable release, the app does have bugs. The one we found which cannot be ignored is that the browser crashes everytime ‘Settings’ is accessed while browsing a page. Other than that, no breaking bug has been found yet.
Chrome is a great browser already, and now a stable release on Android/iOS can only increase the popularity of this superb browser. We see no reason for you not to use it.
Preetam Nath actively follows mobile technology. He has been following computer hardware keenly since 2007, only to start digging more into mobiles ever since the smartphone revolution. Studying his Engineering at MIT Manipal, Preetam devotes most of his time to update himself with the latest happenings in the technology sphere.
29 June, 2012