Chrome for Android now released

Posted by Charbax – February 7, 2012

This confirms my expectation for Ice Cream Sandwich, that Chrome OS and Google TV are being merged with Android. I've been talking about it since my October 5th ICS predictions and way before in May 2011, January 2011 and February 2010.

A full Chrome Browser in Android can be the key to see the huge market for ARM Powered Laptops explode.

Look forward to having a full ChromeOS-like Laptop experience on your ARM Powered Android Tablet as soon as you plug a Keyboard dock to it. Look forward to having a full Chromebox-like experience when you connect the HDMI output of your Smartphone to a PC monitor or HDTV and use a Bluetooth or USB Host Keyboard and mouse.

The main question is now to test the performance of the full Chrome browser on Android, I'd like to see its performance on the Galaxy Nexus that has the high memory bandwidth OMAP4460 1.2Ghz and 1.5Ghz processor. I'd like to see its performance on OMAP4470 1.8Ghz, and Tegra3 1.3Ghz. I think the Chrome browser performance on those Android devices can now be faster than on a Netbook.

  • Sprewell

    eh, while it’s nice to see they finally finished the port, this isn’t as big a deal as you think.  The built-in browser in Android was already using WebKit for rendering and v8 for javascript, the main constituents of Chrome.  All they’ve done is bring the remaining Chrome shell in also, while optimizing it to run on mobile.  Perhaps the entire browser will gain from those optimizations, but Chrome on Android is not going to be that different for most people.

  • When the screen size is detected to be like a Laptop, I expect it to look exactly like Chrome on Desktop, that means the experience is just like Chrome OS, that is a big deal I think. And I believe this marks the arrival of Google to a stage where they are able to fully hardware accelerate web browsing on ARM devices, fully employing GPU acceleration when needed, and bringing up the full HTML5 support to ARM devices to just about the same level as any other x86 Desktop. That is hugely important I think. The Web browser is the most important application, and now that Google is just about ready for it to be fully working on ARM devices, that makes it very possible that the mass market ARM Laptops and ARM Tablets with Desktop Docks for increased Laptop/Productivity use are now just around the corner. I think this also probably means that Chrome OS for ARM is also just about to be ready to be unveiled. Google TV on ARM was unveiled last month at CES, ICS merges everything, Google can conquer the TV space and they can challenge Microsoft in the Desktop space.

  • Marc Guillot Puig

    it won’t have Flash (as little as i like it, it still is needed for accessing to a lot of sites)

  • It doesn’t have flash, doesn’t mean it won’t have Flash. Has Adobe confirmed it won’t have Flash? I don’t think so.

  • Sprewell

    Not that important since the built-in browser still has Flash.  By the time Chrome is the default, all the mobile browsers won’t have Flash anyway, since Adobe has thrown in the towel on mobile Flash.

  • Al Udall

    Adobe confirmed that it will continue to develop Flash only for QNX (think RIM BB Playbook), the only platform they were able to work its HW acceleration just fine. All the rest, including ICS might want to roll back to lesser versions (not that it’s a trivial task for ICS). As for Chrome for Android, see some benchmarking in my blog In short, nothing to write mom about. Android on ARM laptops? Phhhhrt… only for Chinese laptops below $99. Chrome OS on ARM Cortex A15 netbooks of $199 — that one I can get, sure. Even these will lose if somebody (RIM?) will try QNX on ARM Cortex A15 hardware. Or webOS.

  • Adobe said they’d provide bugfixes and security updates for Android also. Which is basically what this is. The only reason there wouldn’t be Flash in Chrome for Android would be if Google for some reason decided not to include it, for some stability/performance reasoning. I don’t think so though. I think Flash 10 will work great in Chrome for Android within 1-2 months once Chrome for Android comes out of Beta.

  • Adobe hasn’t thrown in the towel on mobile flash, Adobe finished the work on mobile flash. They didn’t need to do any more work since Android had fully hardware accelerated flash now since Flash 10 for Android. Microsoft wants to push their own silverlight and other metro stuff and Apple kept saying they didn’t want it. It’d make no sense for Adobe to continue to spend hundreds of salaries on developing Flash for mobile since there wasn’t anymore work to be done.

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