Google launches Chrome for Android

Google has announced the availability of a beta version of its Chrome web browser for the Android platform. The browser is available on handsets and tablets running the 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, and is downloadable via Android Market in select countries and languages.

However, this version of Chrome will not support Flash, as Adobe is no longer developing the browser plugin for mobile devices following the release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook.

The Chrome for Android browser is available on handsets and tablets running the 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS, and is downloadable via Android Market in select countries and languages. The browser is based on the Chromium open source project, and supports HTML5.

“Chrome for Android Beta is focused on speed and simplicity, but it also features seamless sign-in and sync so you can take your personalized web browsing experience with you wherever you go, across devices,” said Sundar Pichai, SVP for Chrome and apps at Google.

However, Mark Doherty, strategic solutions manager at Adobe Systems Doherty recently told Telecoms.com that while HTML5 is certainly one path forward, it will take years to produce widely consistent web standards necessary to support everything required by the creative and publishing industries in HTML.

“Content owners just weren’t that interested in optimizing Flash content for mobile browsers, but they are keen to build applications and so Adobe is supporting that model,” said Doherty.

The Chrome for Android browser has been redesigned from the ground up for mobile devices, and Google’s Pichai said that the development team reimagined tabs so they fit just as naturally on a small-screen phone as they do on a larger screen tablet. Users can flip or swipe between an unlimited number of tabs using intuitive gestures, as if holding a deck of cards in the palm of their hands.

“One of the biggest pains of mobile browsing is selecting the correct link out of several on a small-screen device. Link Preview does away with hunting and pecking for links on a web page by automatically zooming in on links to make selecting the precise one easier,” added Pichai.

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