Google has released an update for the beta version of the Chrome for Android browser. The update adds several new, highly requested features. It also adds support for an additional 31 languages, and is now available in all the same countries as Google Play.
With the new version, announced today on the Google Mobile Blog, Chrome for Android users can put bookmarks on their home screens (a la Safari for iOS), choose apps to handle Chrome links, and request the desktop version of a website, rather than the mobile version. This last feature seems the most useful. Though a mobile website is usually much preferable to a desktop version when browsing from a smartphone, it’s sometimes necessary to view the desktop version. While many mobile websites offer you the option to switch, just as many don’t. Having a feature built right into the browser allowing you to switch between the two is bound to be a welcome addition.
Chrome for Android is available in Google Play, and remains, of course, a free download. It is only compatible with phones running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, so if you’re using a phone with an older version, you’re still out of luck. There is no word on whether Google intends to make the browser compatible with older versions of Android at some point in the future, but it seems unlikely. Also, Chrome for Android is technically still in beta. But of course, Google’s “beta” is most people’s “release candidate,” so Chrome for Android is pretty much ready for public consumption.
Do you have the new version of Chrome for Android? Which of the new features is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.