One of the best things about using an iPad is the great apps that we can run on it. There are excellent apps for just about any purpose you can think of. Better still, there are lots of great free apps for the iPad. Our Best Free iPad App of the Week posts celebrate these apps.
This week’s pick is Chrome, Google’s excellent web browser which has now come to the iPad and iOS. Chrome has been my browser of choice on my MacBook Pro for ages now. I find it much, much faster than Safari and just a real pleasure to use. It’s worth noting right off the bat that Chrome on the iPad cannot match the speed advantage of the desktop version. The reasons for this are not the fault of the app or of Google, its publisher – they’re due to Apple policies, as outlined recently at ars technica:
Despite the limitations placed on Chrome due to Apple policies, which also include the fact that you cannot choose it as your default browser, the app still has plenty of great features going for it. Here are a few of the best ones:
— Unlimited Tabs: I’ve had over 20 tabs open at once in Chrome and the app has still performed well.
— Swipe through tabs: It’s easy to move quickly through your tabs by just swiping left to right (or vice versa) – and you can tap, hold, and drag to move tabs around.
— The Omnibox: One of the star features of Chrome on the desktop – you can type a web address or a search term into the all-purpose omnibox. Whenever I have to use Safari I miss this big time.
— Voice dictation right in the Omnibox. This makes it even easier to use your voice for search or entering web addresses.
— Privacy Features: With a single tap at the top right of the Chrome screen you can open an Incognito tab. When using these tabs the pages you view won’t appear in your browser or search history, and they won’t leave cookies behind. You can also clear browsing history, cache, and cookies right from within the app – rather than having to do this in the Settings app.
— Chrome has a Save Passwords feature that can be toggled on and off in its settings.
— Best of all, if you’re a Chrome user on the desktop, you can sync open tabs, bookmarks, passwords and more from your PC to your iPad.
To see it in action on the iPad check out my recent screencast demo of Chrome on iPad on YouTube.
Here’s an App Store link for Chrome.
If you’re after more great free iPad apps, be sure to check out our previous choices for Best Free iPad of the Week. We’ve been doing these for over a year now.