MANILA, Philippines — Google has now made available its Chrome-branded Android mobile browser for users in the Philippines, packed with new features that make the desktop and mobile versions more connected and integrated, the search giant announced Wednesday.
First released in February for a limited number of countries, the Chrome for Android Beta can now be downloaded in any territory that has access to the Google Play Shop (formerly Android Market), Google said.
Compatibility, however, is still restricted to Android phones running the Ice Cream Sandwich version of the popular mobile operating system.
Just like its desktop counterpart, the Chrome for Android browser is built to be simple and fast, Google claimed, with a number of features introduced to marry the two digital experiences together.
“Chrome for Android also features seamless sign-in and sync so you can take personalized web browsing experience wherever, across devices,” the company said.
Among the new features introduced into the new beta version include the ability to view the desktop version of a website; the automatic detection of phone numbers and email addresses on webpages so they can easily be clicked and dialed; the ability to add bookmarks on the home screen for quick access; and the addition of country-specific default search engines.
Other features released during the initial availability are also still available, such as the syncing of tabs from desktop to mobile version – “so you can exactly where you left off” – and the automatic syncing of bookmarks from the desktop version.
“We reimagined tabs so they fit just as naturally on a small-screen phone as they do on a larger screen tablet,” Google said. “You can flip or swipe between an unlimited number of tabs using intuitive gestures, as if you’re holding a deck of cards in the palm of your hands, each one a new window to the web.”
All these features, however, require a single sign-on into the user’s Google account to become functional.
Google Chrome for the desktop was launched by Google in 2008, and has been making headways since, surpassing popular choices such as Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
According to the website w3schools.com, Chrome has already surpassed Firefox with a 37.3 percent market share in March, eclipsing the latter’s close 36.3 percent share. Internet Explorer, on the other hand, has shrunk its share to just 18.9 percent during the period.