If you’re one of the few users with an Android device running version 4.0 of Google’s mobile operating system, also known as Ice Cream Sandwich, then you’ll soon be able to try out the new Chrome for Android web browser.
Google launched the beta of the new browser on Tuesday evening (7 February 2012), posting in the official Chrome blog that it is “now available in Beta from Android Market, in selected countries and languages for phones and tablets with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.”
Much to the consternation of the South African Android enthusiast, the Android Market forbade the installation of Chrome for Android beta saying, “This item cannot be installed in your device’s country.”
Asked about the error message, a local Google spokesperson said that SA was definitely included in the beta launch and that the roll-out was happening in stages.
In the blog post that introduced Chrome for Android beta, Sundar Pichai, senior vice-president of Chrome and Apps wrote that the browser is focused on speed an simplicity, but also features signing in and syncing with Google.
Chrome for Android introduces gestures that lets you flick you through open tabs. It also features Chrome-like such as the omnibox and loading pages in the background while you search.
The mobile browser also has “Link Preview,” which Google said automatically zooms in on links to make selecting one out of several on the small screen of a smartphone easier and more precise.
Another desktop Chrome feature the Android beta got was “incognito mode” which lets you browse without storing the sites you visited or their cookies.
Google also added the ability to sign into your account and sync your tabs, bookmarks and frequently visited sites between desktop Chrome and your mobile device.
Though Chrome for Android beta does have a few bugs to sort out, it’s as slick as any other beta release to come from Google.
It is interesting to note, however, that the search giant’s newest browser for its mobile platform that it says it aims to make the default, does not support Adobe Flash.