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Chrome hits iPhone and iPad, storms to top of download chart

Google slips new tentacle into fanbois' walled garden

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Google's new Chrome browser for iOS has stormed the iTunes download charts - hitting the top spot for free apps worldwide. Announced at a dev meeting yesterday, the mobile browser was quietly released in Apple's App Store on 26 June.

It is not significantly faster than Safari, the Jesus phone's native browser, but Google's mobile browser does have other advantages.

The basics of the Chrome mobile browser are the same as the desktop version: the browser bar doubles as a search bar, and there's an easy-to-use tabs system that is more intuitive than Safari's. The glossy app allows you to flick through layered tabs like a deck of cards, in contrast with Safari's clunkier "hit button, swipe, tap and wait" system.

Chrome for iOS, screengrab iTunes

The app also allows less privacy-conscious users the opportunity to sign in to their Google accounts, thus syncing tabs and saved pages across their devices - as well as sharing information like stored passwords. There's an incognito option too.

Fanbois are not able to set Chrome as the default browser, naturally.

The release comes a day after Google claimed that Chrome was world's most popular browser, doubling its number of users in the past year from 160 million to 310 million.

The mobe browser gives Google a little more of a toehold on iOS, especially important since Apple will be kicking Google Maps off iPhone and iPad come October after it introduces its own-brand Apple Maps in iOS 6. ®

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