Google’s Chrome browser for Android is still in beta, yet it keeps improving quickly. The software launched in early February and has seen a few updates; the latest being on Tuesday. The browser, only supported on Android 4.0 smartphones and tablets, gains support for 31 additional languages and adds new features that make a great browser even better.
One of the key functions added, at least in my opinion, is the ability to see a website in desktop view. With many of the Android 4.0 devices using larger, higher resolution screens, these can handle full desktop sites and don’t need to rely on mobile-friendly versions. That doesn’t mean Chrome for Android doesn’t work well with mobile sites — far from it — but users should always have the option to view a site in the way they prefer.
The new software release, available in the Google Play store, also adds the ability to save browser bookmarks on a home screen for fast, one-tap access. You can also choose which apps open certain links. That’s useful, for example, on an email link; if you use the Email app in lieu of Gmail, you can associate mail links with the appropriate program. Also supported are proxy over Wi-Fi settings for those who use them to browse.
Chrome for Android is still maturing, but I already prefer it over most other browsers. The new features make it more comparable with my old favorite, Dolphin HD, which is also a great app. I tend to use Chrome more often however, due to its ability to show my open tabs on the desktop through Google’s Chrome browser. And I particularly like the feature that zooms on links when the browser isn’t sure which you tapped; helpful on a small screen. Here’s a quick look at an earlier version of Chrome for Android on my Galaxy Nexus smartphone: