Now, What About Chrome For iOS?

"It’s a tough question for us."

That’s what Google SVP of Chrome Sundar Pichai told me when I asked him about the possibility of Chrome launching on iOS one day. I ask, of course, because Chrome just launched in beta for Android users (well, Ice Cream Sandwich users) today.

Pichai elaborated to say that there’s a lot of stuff they would want to do with Chrome for iOS but cannot due to Apple’s limitations. For example, they couldn’t use their V8 JavaScript engine. 

But not all hope is lost. Because both Chrome and Safari are built upon the same WebKit layout engine it should be easier to bring Chrome to iOS than say, Firefox, which uses Gecko. Apple and Google are both big contributors to WebKit itself. 

Still, a Chrome app for iOS would likely be largely what the other browsers available on iOS are: re-skinned versions of Mobile Safari (a wrapper for UIWebView). But that might not be all bad — Mobile Safari still offers a smoother browsing experience when compared to this new Mobile Chrome, as I laid out in my review.

It would be fantastic to get some of the Mobile Chrome UI elements on iOS. For one thing, the multi-tab experience is much better (and sort of Apple-like). And, of course, sync across browsers would be killer to have on iOS devices as well.

I suspect Google is thinking about Chrome for iOS more closely than they lead on. Chrome directly leads to more searches, which is what Google is all about. And it would do that on iOS as well. But if we do see anything, it will probably be a while. 

  1. mostlycurated reblogged this from parislemon and added:
    MG Siegler talks...iOS”. I don’t...have another browser and...
  2. mobilecubix reblogged this from parislemon and added:
    “It’s a tough question for us.” That’s what Google SVP of Chrome Sundar Pichai told me when I asked him about the...
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  7. jimcloudman reblogged this from parislemon and added:
    It would be nice to have, but the biggest problem alternate browsers have with iOS is the OS-level integration. Unless...
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