Appearance and Experience
Both Chrome for iOS and its desktop sibling have the same look and feel that will make you comfortable when switching between mobile and PC. The user interface and most features from the full desktop version carry over to the relatively stripped down mobile edition.
Chrome on the iPhone, however, presents multiple open tabs in vertically stacked windows, rather than show the tabs across the tab bar on top, which is how the desktop version lays out open tabs. The navigational bar contains a New Tab button, a menu button (three horizontal lines), and another button that flicks through and shows the number of open tabs.
Google Voice Search
The omnibar (URL and search) sits next to the menu button, the latter of which allows users to add bookmarks, open the settings window and several other features.
For iPad users, the omnibar will also feature a Google Voice Search microphone icon for hands-free search navigation. Chrome for iOS employs the search giant’s own voice search functionality, which also is present in Google Search for iOS.
If you own an iPhone, voice search will appear after you tap to enter a URL on the omnibar.
Google uses a new method to handle tabs in Incognito Mode, the company’s private browsing feature, in Chrome for iOS. When opening a new Incognito tab, the browser makes a new stack of tabs that will not save browsing history. You can even browse naturally next to other open tabs.
On an iPad, you will find a switch located at the top, which will appear as “normal” and “private” rows of stacked tabs on an iPhone. To swap between open tabs on an iPad, you must swipe from the screen’s edge. Tab switching on an iPhone involves dragging the edge of the screen, whereas swiping closes a tab from stack view.
Google Syncs Chrome Tabs
A nifty feature in Chrome for iOS requires you to use a Google account, alongside Chrome for desktop. This will allow you to open tabs not only on an iPhone or on an iPad, but also on another device, so you can pick up where you left off on another platform. The feature is accessible through a folder icon with two arrows at the bottom bar, which shows after signing into the service. The upcoming iOS 6 version will come with a similar feature via iCloud Tabs, and this means using Safari on the desktop computer as well.
Chrome for iOS can sync to the desktop version through your Google account by signing in on your PC, or on the iPhone and iPad after installing the app (Click Menu>Other Devices), then you can access all open tabs on the desktop.
Chrome for iOS is slower than Safari. However, real-time experience did not present any problems for us. Not until iCloud Tabs and iOS 6 are made available, Chrome is the best option for syncing tabs across different platforms.