The speed and simplicity of Chrome, now on your Android phone and tablet
Every smartphone comes with a default Web browser, and Chrome is the go-to option for most Android devices. If a device includes Google Play Services, then this particular browser will come pre-installed. Typically, Google's browser is prized for its excellent performance and stability in daily use. The mobile version makes few compromises compared to its desktop counterpart, with the exception of extensions being absent.
Chrome is optimized to run on every version of the Android operating system, and it doesn't disappoint. Users can browse the Internet, open multiple tabs, share Web content, and more within the browser. On top of that, content is synced across devices, which includes other smartphones and even desktop computers. A simple user interface hides plenty of useful features and performance that's hard to best.
As on desktops with the full version, Chrome for Android is not a perfect Web browser. Smartphone owners will notice the app requires a lot of resources to run. Battery drain is noticeable at every turn. Plus, the app utilizes a large amount of RAM and other resources as more tabs are opened. Devices relying upon older or lesser hardware may struggle to keep up with the resource demands of this particular browser.
Modern devices with decent hardware can take full advantage of Chrome, though. Regular users will love the performance and ease of use. It doesn't hurt that Google voice commands and search are baked into the browser as well. While the battery drain can prove bothersome, a better Web browsing experience might not be available on Android smartphones or tablets today.
- Excellent performance and speed.
- Useful bookmarking and sharing features.
- Comes standard on most Android devices.
- Major battery drain from extended use.
- Resource intensive on any device.
- Devices with less RAM may suffer from poor performance.
New in Chrome 55:
• Easily download music, videos, and even full web pages for viewing offline
• View and share your downloads within Chrome
• See misspelled words highlighted in text fields
• Improvements to contextual search UI
• Bug fixes and significant memory savings
Potentially dangerous permissions
- ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION: Allows an app to access approximate location. Alternatively, you might want ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION.
- ACCESS_FINE_LOCATION: Allows an app to access precise location. Alternatively, you might want ACCESS_COARSE_LOCATION.
- CAMERA: Required to be able to access the camera device.
- GET_ACCOUNTS: Allows access to the list of accounts in the Accounts Service.
- READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE: Allows an application to read from external storage.
- RECORD_AUDIO: Allows an application to record audio.
- WRITE_EXTERNAL_STORAGE: Allows an application to write to external storage.
- ACCESS_NETWORK_STATE: Allows applications to access information about networks.
- BLUETOOTH: Allows applications to connect to paired bluetooth devices.
- BLUETOOTH_ADMIN: Allows applications to discover and pair bluetooth devices.
- INSTALL_SHORTCUT: Allows an application to install a shortcut in Launcher.
- INTERNET: Allows applications to open network sockets.
- MODIFY_AUDIO_SETTINGS: Allows an application to modify global audio settings.
- NFC: Allows applications to perform I/O operations over NFC.
- READ_SYNC_SETTINGS: Allows applications to read the sync settings.
- READ_SYNC_STATS: Allows applications to read the sync stats.
- RECEIVE_BOOT_COMPLETED: Allows an application to receive the ACTION_BOOT_COMPLETED that is broadcast after the system finishes booting. If you don't request this permission, you will not receive the broadcast at that time. Though holding this permission does not have any security implications, it can have a negative impact on the user experience by increasing the amount of time it takes the system to start and allowing applications to have themselves running without the user being aware of them. As such, you must explicitly declare your use of this facility to make that visible to the user.
- VIBRATE: Allows access to the vibrator.
- WAKE_LOCK: Allows using PowerManager WakeLocks to keep processor from sleeping or screen from dimming.
- WRITE_SYNC_SETTINGS: Allows applications to write the sync settings.