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  5. Google Chrome hits Android, but for Ice Cream Sandwich only

Google Chrome hits Android, but for Ice Cream Sandwich only

Google Chrome hits Android, but for Ice Cream Sandwich only

Google has finally released a mobile-optimised version of its popular Chrome desktop browser for Android, bringing speedy access to the web even on the move.

A beta release of Chrome for Android is available to download right now from the Android Market. Only snag is, your kit has to be Ice Cream Sandwich- powered to run it.

Assuming you've got that covered, you’re in for a browser that’s been “built from the ground up” for mobile, bringing a simpler tabbed browsing, faster rendering of pages and an all-round enhanced user experience.

You can swipe to close tabs, set pages to preload ‘always’ or ‘only on Wi-Fi’, which is great for saving bandwidth, and access tabs you’ve already opened on Chrome on another device you’re logged into.

Sundar Pichai, Google's senior vice president for Chrome, said: "Like the desktop version, Chrome for Android Beta is focused on speed and simplicity, but it also features seamless sign-in and sync so you can take your personalised web browsing experience with you wherever you go, across devices.

"We reimagined tabs so they fit just as naturally on a small-screen phone as they do on a larger screen tablet. You can flip or swipe between an unlimited number of tabs using intuitive gestures, as if you’re holding a deck of cards in the palm of your hands, each one a new window to the web."

Although it’s still in beta, early reports already suggest Chrome for Android is noticeably faster and smoother than the stock browser. Unfortunately for Flash fans, Adobe has confirmed that Flash will not be coming to Chrome.

"Today Google introduced Chrome for Android Beta. As we announced last November, Adobe is no longer developing Flash Player for mobile browsers, and thus Chrome for Android Beta does not support Flash content," said Adobe's Flash Platform product manager Bill Howard.

Own a device that doesn’t run Ice Cream Sandwich yet? Check out our round-up for a list of smarties and tablets that have been officially confirmed for the upgrade.

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