Friday 30 November 2012

Google updates Chrome for Android and iOS, adds new features

The folks at Google have been having a busy week. Google has released Chrome updates for the browser on Android as well as iOS, bringing along with it a few bug fixes. A few new features are also being rolled out on iOS.

The official release for Chrome 23 / 23.0.1271.91 on iOS reads, “This build brings in a number of new features and fixes to user-reported issues including:

  •  Ability to open PDFs in other apps
  •  Support for saving your boarding passes and tickets with Passbook
  •  An option to automatically detect text encoding
  •  Stability and security improvements"

This new update will integrate the Passbook feature that is fast becoming one of the most appreciated iOS features. You can save airline boarding passes, coupons, movie tickets and more on the app. The app will prompt you to save these tickets if the website supports them, even as you browse through it. Additionally, the app now also allows users to open web-based PDFs using other apps. If you have faced issues with jumbled, unreadable text on Chrome, there is a fix for it in this update.

The update note for the Android release was brief and pertained only to bug fixes. “The stable channel of Chrome for Android has been updated to 18.0.1025469 for ARM devices and to 18.0.1026322 for x86 devices. The new update includes fixes for some frequently occurring stability issues,” it said, without elaborating any further.

The note was not of much help, but as is the case with most Chrome for Android updates, this promises to make it more stable and faster with a boost in performance.

Google has also announced that Google Drive will now support creating and editing functions on spreadsheets in-app.

Here’s what’s new with Google Drive Version 1.2.0:

  • Create, edit and collaborate on spreadsheets
  •  Upload to Drive from other apps using “Open in...”
  •  Manage upload progress and see recent uploads in new Uploads section
  • Rich text copy-paste within a document
  • Improved speed and stability
  • Improved contact search for sharing
  • Bug fixes

 Google Chrome was brought to iOS with much fanfare on day two of Google’s I/O 2012 conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Sundar Pichai announced the arrival of one of the most popular browsers to Apple’s mobile platform which includes the iPhone, iPad and the iPod Touch.

Features for syncing web pages across devices seem to be the highlight of Chrome. For instance, if you are browsing a website on your Android phone using Chrome and then you switch to the iPad, you’ll be able to pick up from where you left through Chrome. It will automatically sync all your opened tabs and bookmarks if you have signed in to your devices. The ‘incognito’ mode in the iOS Chrome app is easy to open, right from the menu in the browser rather than having to go to settings, which is the case in Safari.

To download Chrome for Android head over to Google Play Store here. For the iOS version you can go to the App Store here.

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