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21 Mar 12 Chrome comes to some Android phones, tablets

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Chrome on an Android phone.

Google’s Chrome Web browser in Beta is available for Android phone and tablets users — but for now, that is going be a small number of them who have the latest version of the Android operating system, 4.0 (also known as Ice Cream Sandwich), on their devices.

The spare, uncluttered browser has a growing number of users.

Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice-president of Chrome and Apps, said in a blog post that “like the desktop version, 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.”

Among the features of Chrome for Android, Pichai said, is that users can:

  • View open tabs: Access the tabs you left open on your computer (also signed into Chrome) — picking up exactly where you left off.
  • Get smarter suggestions: If you visit a site often on your computer, you’ll also get an autocomplete suggestion for it on your mobile device, so you can spend less time typing.
  • Sync bookmarks: Conveniently access your favorite sites no matter where you are or which device you’re using.

Right now, only about 1 percent of Android users have 4.0 on their devices, according to the Android Developers website. The vast majority of Android users have versions of Android 2.7 or earlier.

If you are one of the lucky 4.0 folks, Chrome in Beta is available for download from the Android Market. If you’re not, there’s no word from Google on when — or whether — Chrome will be adapted for pre-4.0 users.

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