Google has launched an iOS compatible version of Chrome, making its increasingly popular browser available to iPad and iPhone users for the first time. At its I/O conference for developers, Google announced that its Chrome browser will be available in iTunes App Store, as will Google Drive, the productivity app suite that includes Google Docs. By adding Chrome and Drive to the popular iOS platform will expand Google’s user base and ecosystem.
Google’s browser allows users to sync tabs, bookmarks and other settings across multiple devices. Once a user signs in to the browser on any computer or phone, they can view their opened tabs and browsing history.
Released last week, the new mobile version is already the top free app in both the iPhone and iPad categories. Google created dedicated versions for both devices, so iPad users running the browser can take advantage of the tablet’s ample 9.7-inch screen.
Chrome now joins Opera, Dolphin, and other browsers as yet another alternative to mobile Safari for iOS users. The Chrome app has also made its splash in the Android world, officially out of beta mode and available through Google Play.
“People have been asking us for this for a long time, but we wanted to make sure we got it right,” Sundar Pichai, Google’s head of Chrome, said during his keynote presentation.
Chrome is now the most popular browser in the world by some metrics, including Google’s own. It has 310 million active users, and a growing number of them are mobile. Google’s Android mobile operating system began using Chrome as its primary built-in browser in its most recent version.
Beginning Thursday, Google Docs users will be able to edit their documents when offline. The app will store the document in the device’s cache, and it will automatically upload it to Google Drive when connected.
The company said offline mode for spreadsheets and presentations will follow soon. The ability to edit while disconnected has been one of the key differentiators between Microsoft Office and Google’s productivity apps.
Watch a video explaining how the service works below: