Wait, doesn’t Google already make the default web browser for Android? That’s what I thought when I came across this bit of news yesterday. As it turns out, though, Google also wants to offer Chrome as an alternative for Android 4.0 users.
According to the update on Google’s blog, Chrome for Android Beta is up for grabs right now from the Android Marketplace. It looks something like this:
Why use Chrome for Android? Apparently, it’s faster, with a niftier user interface, tabs re-imagined to fit on a small screen ("as if you’re holding a deck of cards in the palm of your hands, each one a new window to the web"), and an option to sync tabs, bookmarks, and autocomplete suggestions with the browser’s desktop analogue. Folks with Android 4.0 tablets can partake, too, although judging by the lone screenshot, the tablet version of the browser has the same tabs-on-top design as the desktop version.
I don’t know why, but Chrome for Android gives me the same weird vibe as Google’s two-pronged approach to operating-system development—you know, with Chrome OS on one side and Android on the other. It’s not that the products don’t have their place; it’s just that the redundancy and overlap seem unnecessary. Sort of like Google has competing product teams vying for market share without central oversight.
Sort of like Google is turning into the Microsoft of yesteryear.