Blog Post

Google lets iOS apps direct users to Chrome instead of Safari

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Google(s goog) is not only routing iOS(s aapl) users from its Gmail app to its own apps, such as YouTube, Chrome and Google Maps apps, it’s now helping other third-party iOS developers send their users to Google apps too. On Tuesday the company announced a way to integrate Chrome with their iOS apps; another way of saying Google is helping other developers not use Apple’s default Safari mobile browser.

From the official Chrome team blog:

With Chrome’s OpenInChromeController class with x-callback, users can open a web page in Chrome and then return to your app with just one tap.

So not only can developers opt to have their links in those apps open in Chrome, they get a nice back button that is labeled with their app’s name.

It’s good for developers to have options. And Google — Apple’s biggest competitor — has been able to build apps that can easily replace some of the iPhone’s core services; it’s something the company has been slowly rolling out ever since Apple decided it no longer wanted to rely on Google for some of its most important default apps, such as YouTube and Google Maps, for example — last year.

Apple doesn’t allow users to set alternate browsers as the default in iOS. But now Google is creating ways for developers to pick its browser for users and create a good Google-y experience for them too.

7 Responses to “Google lets iOS apps direct users to Chrome instead of Safari”

  1. Joe A

    I haven’t used Gmail on my iPad since the recent update, but on the phone version, you can, in fact, turn off the redirects to Chrome, YouTube and Maps.____Back to the point in the article, It doesn’t bother me that Google is offering a workaround to the lack of an option to set your default browser on iOS (even if that workaround only applies to their browser). However, if apps I use start using this option to open in Chrome and they don’t give me a choice to disable it, I will either stop using the app or delete Chrome altogether. Personally, I see nothing about Chrome on iOS that makes it superior to Safari to me, and if I were going to use an alternative browser, there are far better choices in terms of additional features, alternative interfaces, etc.

    • Kay Latona

      I don’t want to open into Chrome, and, frankly, I resent Google’s have done this to me on my iPad 3 without my permission. I was perfectly opening directly from Gmail into Safari. I’ve never liked Chrome.

      On the upper left corner of your iPad 3 Gmail page,
      click on the 3 lines to open your list of folders,
      go ALL the way up to the top and click on your Gmail address,
      then click on the square with your Gmail account in it,
      then click on the gray gear at the top right of this section,
      then click on Google Apps,
      then click to turn off Chrome and whatever else you don’t want to open directly into a Google App.

      • Thank you! I’m not enamored with Chrome, either, but do like to use it occasionally. I was going to delete it from my iPad I’d I couldn’t make Safari my default again.

  2. Alan Ralph

    I may be in a minority, but I’m actually annoyed that GMail on my iPad now opens web links into Chrome instead of Safari – and there isn’t an option provided to change the behaviour back to how it was prior to the latest GMail update.

  3. Hey Google what’s the problem? Isn’t your Android ecosystem so much more superior? Do you really have to do your best to establish presence on iOS? It makes me wonder just where is the money and that profit? Android or iOS?
    Anyone who has been paying attention to how Android is working out knows the answer.

    • Alek Hartzog

      What an incredibly retarded comment. Regardless of how successful Android is, this article is specifically mentioning their ongoing insertion into the huge iOS market.

      Yes, they really have to do their best to establish presence on a dominant platform. Who wouldn’t want to do that? The money is in both platforms because millions of people are using both.