Google has launched a version of its popular Chrome web browser for iPad and iPhone, and also added offline editing for its Docs word processor.
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The Chrome for iOS web browser will provide synchronisation of tabs, web history and passwords with the desktop version of what Google claims is the world’s most popular browser. However, it will not have access to the technology that Apple uses for its own, built-in Safari browser. Users will also not be able to change their default web browser.
The free download will run on iOS 4.3 or later. The current version is 5.1.1, and iOS 6 is due later in the year. Currently, Opera offers what is effectively a rival web browser for iOS called Opera Mini, but Internet Explorer and Firefox are not available for Apple’s popular iPhone and iPad. The release of Chrome is likely to increase pressure on Apple to allow more browsers.
Google announced at its I/O conference in San Francisco that Chrome now has 310 million active users. It had 70 million users just two years ago, and 160 million users this time last year.
Google’s Sundar Pichai claimed that Chrome users were on a “journey to the cloud, seamlessly,” and also announced that the search giant’s Docs word processor was now also available for offline use. The idea continues the trend that Google began on day one of the I/O conference yesterday, when it announced offline dictation and other offline features for its Android phones and tablets.
Microsoft is coming under increasing pressure in some business areas from Google’s Apps suite, but Google is aiming to tackle both the Windows-maker in business uses as well as those tempted to convert to the Mac platform. Google also announced that the app for its cloud storage and sharing, Google Drive, is now also available for iPhone and iPad. It was previously limited to Android and Chrome OS.
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