If you use Google Chrome on the desktop instead of Safari, you’ve probably been at a slight disadvantage when it comes to syncing your bookmarks, history, etc. to iOS devices. It was just last week that I reviewed “Chrome Sync Pro“, an app dedicated to syncing your Google Chrome bookmarks, history, tabs, etc. from your desktop to your iOS devices. While this utility is good, it’s a one way sync and the bookmarks open up in Safari. I was able to delete this App yesterday.

Google Chrome comes to iOS

While Apple allows developers to create web browsers, these browsers are really just skins on top of the iOS native browser. Apple is still pretty strict about letting developers truly create full blown browsers on iOS. This is why you won’t see Adobe Flash in a browser on iOS like it is in Chrome on the desktop. Nonetheless, I still appreciate having a Chrome look and feel and more importantly Chrome SYNCING between iOS and my desktop Chrome. Once you install the App you are prompted to log in with your Gmail user name and password. This is what ties it to your desktop version similar to how Apple uses your Apple ID to sync things. My bookmarks came over immediately, but more importantly so did my saved passwords! I went to hilton.com and my user name and password was already keyed in and ready to go (be sure to passcode protect your iOS device). Chrome also syncs your browsing history and open tabs. Speaking of tabbed browsing there is no limit to the number tabs you can have open. I’ll admit it’s kind of confusing in appearance on iPhone, but on iPad it looks and works great! Overall the browsing experience has been great so far. While it is fast, it will never be as fast as Safari on iOS because developers are prevented from using the Nitro Javascript Engine. I’ll accept this trade off for the other benefits though. Before Chrome for iOS, iCab was my favorite iOS browser offering what I think is most full featured browser for iOS. However, the one thing iCab doesn’t do is sync with Google Chrome. Even with iCab or Chrome the bigger problem is that Apple doesn’t allow you to change the default browser in iOS. This means that when you tap a link in another App, it’s still going to open up in Safari. Additional effort will always be necessary to use a different browser. Hopefully one day Apple will allow users to pick a different default browser for iOS just like they do for Mac OS. In the mean time I’ll be using Chrome as much as I can. It’s great having Chrome on both my iPad and MacBook Pro dock!

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