Chrome gains full-screen on iPad, opens links in native apps, saves bandwidth and more

By , Jul 17, 2013

Chrome for iOS (iPhone screenshot 009)

The Internet giant Google has just pushed a major update to its Chrome browser for the iPhone and iPad, sporting better voice capabilities and containing a whole bunch of new features that make the browser fully interoperable with major Google apps available on the iOS platform.

In addition to advanced voice control achieved through additional enhancements to voice search and improved text-to-speech, this edition of the Chrome 28 build boasts tight interoperability with Google’s other native apps on iOS.

For starters, there’s a handy option to open links for YouTube, Maps, Google+ and Drive in Google’s native iOS apps instead of the browser. On the iPad side, there’s a new full-screen browsing mode (finally) along with other tidbits, mentioned after the break…

Toolbar controls are now always visible when using voice search and text-to-speech is provided for all variations of English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, Japanese, and Korean.

“Today’s release of Chrome for iPad and iPhone makes it easier to integrate your favorite Google apps with Chrome”, the company wrote in a blog post. “After you sign in to Chrome, you can sign in to other Google apps with a single click”.

Of course, you’ll have to install other Google iOS apps to take advantage of this integration. I typically watch a bunch of clips on any given day so it’s awesome that I can now tell Chrome to open YouTube links in Google’s native app.

The feature works nicely with the just-updated Google Maps application.

Chrome 28 for iOS (Open in Maps, iPhone screenshot 002)

You’d be advised to enable Maps integration in Chrome settings because following directions using a Google Maps web app in Safari is way too cumbersome and sluggish.

Google isn’t stopping with Maps, YouTube, Google+ and Google Drive as support for more apps is “coming soon”.

As for iPad users, they’ll be delighted to know Chrome finally supports full-screen browsing and lets them access their browsing history from the Chrome menu.

Here’s the full changelog

• Interoperability with other Google Apps
• Option to open links for YouTube, Maps, G+ and Drive in the app instead of the browser.
• Enhancements to voice search
• Text-to-speech for all variations of English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, Japanese, and Korean.
• Toolbar controls are always available when using voice search
• Fullscreen on iPad
• Data cost savings
• Reduce data usage and speed up page load times. View data savings in Bandwidth Management settings. This feature is being rolled out and will be available to all users over time.
• Access to browser history
• Stability / security improvements and bug fixes

On top of that, Google over the coming days will be rolling out an experimental data compression service which promises to save bandwidth, strengthen security and shorten page loading times by delivering website data in a compressed form.

You’ll be able to view data savings in Bandwidth Management settings.

Your free universal update awaits you on the App Store.

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  • J M

    Haha, so google found a way to directly bypass the apple maps for those who use their browser…I really want Apple maps to be successful. I use it for general navigation sometimes, but for things like transit, it doesn’t hold a candle to google maps.

  • andyr354

    My default browser for sure now!

  • Re

    Funny how some of the most popular apps on iPhones and iPads are Google Products (YouTube, Chrome, Google Maps). You can tell Google is trying to take over iOS. Basically allowing people who use Google’s products to bypass using Apple’s stock apps if Google has a alternative. Also, the ‘Use this once, or always’ is directly from Android.

    • WhyIsItReal

      Well, being as they made android, they can use it.

  • Mohammad Ridwan

    Google FTW m/

  • Elvin Topalov

    Chrome is almost as fast as Safari on the iPhone even though it isn’t allowed to have the Nitro Javascript Engine. With the update rolling out with the website data being delivered in a compressed form, who knows, it might even be faster than Safari.

  • Damian W

    I have to admit, the full screen in chrome looks much better than in iOS 7 safari. Chrome full screen feels big and clean (except annoying status bar), safari full screen (pseudo full-screen) is not complete.

    I hope there is gonna be an option to get rid of the status bar in chrome fullscreen.

  • bobby

    I may download GC, I’m tempted.

    • Falk M.

      You haven’t yet? Go for it, you’re missing out.
      It is a DAMN FINE secondary fallback browser at the very least.

  • Rishi

    Chrome has not provided for a way to disable full screen on the ipad. An option should be given to the user to enable or at least disable the feature.

    IMHO, it is not that useful on an ipad. The extra screen space has to be balanced against the fact that the user experience changes.