iChromy – Chrome Style Web Browser for iPad

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iChromy web browser for iPad

iChromy is new browser app for the iPad that promises to bring ‘the best of Chrome’s interface and speed to the iPad’. I’m a huge fan of the Chrome browser on my MacBook Pro desktop; it’s my every day primary browser on the Mac, usually with a crazy number of tabs open all day long (26 as I write this post). I find it to be blazing fast generally and much, much faster than Safari.

So as soon as I saw iChromy hit the iPad App Store I was very interested and very keen to see whether the app could do a good job at bringing a Chrome-like experience to the iPad. I’ve had it on my iPad for a couple days now and have used it quite a lot. So far, I’m quite impressed with it.

iChromy Chrome Style web browser for iPad

Notes

This is not an official version of Chrome for iPad from Google. It is developed by Diigio inc.

iChromy offers you most of the features you have in the Mobile Safari browser on the iPad, and some very nice Chrome features on top. These include:

Tabs: Rather than using the pages metaphor that Safari does, iChromy uses tabs. Tabs are used by just about all mainstream desktop browsers now, and they’re a much quicker way (than Mobile Safari’s pages) to move between multiple sites within the browser. You just tap on the + button at the top right of the screen in iChromy to add new tabs.

Omnibox – like Chrome on the desktop, the address bar in iChromy can be used both to enter a site address and to type search keywords. The app’s features list misspells this as Ominibox, but I can’t bring myself to spell it that way.

iChromy Chrome Style web browser for iPad

Highlights

– Having the Omnibox feature in an iPad browser is great. I’m used to using it in Chrome on the desktop and find it a real time-saver. It works well in this app.

– iChromy gains you a little extra reading space while browsing by hiding the Omnibox / Address Bar as soon as you start scrolling down through a site. It’s not a huge amount of space obviously, but it’s a nice little touch.

– The Omnibox also lets you tap on a star icon quickly to add a page to Bookmarks, and tap on an eyeglasses icon to add / remove a page from its Offline Reading List. Having the offline reading list built in is a nice feature as well.

– The app’s Share button offers a good list of sharing and similar options, including: Twitter, Facebook, email, Evernote, Google Reader, Instapaper, Read It Later, offers Open in Safari option, and more.

– It shows up to 5 tabs at once; then you swipe to scroll left and right when you have more than 5 tabs open at once.

– It’s solid and fast. I haven’t seen a single crash or any noticeable lag in using the app at all so far. It’s fast in just about every area – moving from tab to tab, loading new pages in new tabs, opening new links within pages, and so on. I’ve gone up to around 8-10 tabs open at a time before I see it start to slow down a little.

Lowlights

– It doesn’t take you straight back to the top of the page when the status bar is tapped as Safari and other 3rd party browsers do.

– There’s no .com button added to the keyboard within the app.

Both of these are items the developers have on their list for ‘What’s the Next Version’ – so hopefully they’ll be added in an update soon.

Overall

iChromy does a good job at bringing some of the slick features of Chrome to the iPad; the Omnibox in particular is great to see on the iPad. Tabbed browsing (which is offered by many 3rd party browser apps) is also a very nice feature.

I like those two features enough for this app to become my primary browser on the iPad for now.

Here’s an App Store link for iChromy; it’s a free app. 

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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13 thoughts on “iChromy – Chrome Style Web Browser for iPad

  1. The problem with all 3rd party browsers is that you can’t set them to default, so links from mail and other apps still open in safari. Until apple fixes this (they probably never will), I’m sticking with safari.

    • Also I don’t see a way to import existing bookmarks to these 3rd party browsers. This and your point on default kill the usability for me.

  2. I love iChromy and it’s now in my iPad dock as my browser of choice. However, it seems that you can’t use bookmarklets at all. JavaScript calls just stay in the omnibar with a blank page displayed. Until iChromy can do bookmarklets, I’m stuck with the need to use multiple browsers.

  3. Yup, it definitely has some limitations, as do most 3rd party browsers – but I don’t find it that much hassle to use Safari where I need to and use this one for most everything else.

  4. There are other browsers better than this. Dual Browser is the most use.
    I actually have no complaints about the app. It’s simple, it does what it’s advertised, and does it well without crashing (although that depends on how many apps you’re using). I’m a multitask-er and I’m so glad Dual Browser exists in the app store; now I stream my cricket matches on one side of the screen while I catch up on the news every morning I don’t feel the restriction of having just ONE display anymore that being the iPad
    Download Dual Browser for $1.99 if you have an iPad you won’t regret it if you’re a multitask-er like me or just need two websites open at a time! http://itunes.apple.com/es/app/dual-browser/id380640600?mt=8
    Lite Version available:http://itunes.apple.com/es/app/dual-browser-lite/id412415114?mt=8

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  9. Does iChromy or Dual Browser support web pages run with flash player?

    I have just bought an ipad2 and I was really dissapointed since between 40 to 50% of the web pages can not be seen because of the incompatibility between apple and flash player.

    Any other suggestion to overcome this problem?

    Thank you

    • The best Flash-enabling browser that I’m aware of is Skyfire. Keep in mind, Flash is a technology of the past, even Adobe is directing their efforts elsewhere now.

  10. This app really dissappointed me … Not really good interface, i wud prefer the safari app to be my primary, And i dont care about the features that ichromy has got untill it doesnt have a sensible interface…

  11. What about google translate? I love chrome because of that. I live in china and this is a must have for a browser. Will google chrome on iPad have this feature? And what about ichromy?

    Thanks