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Google Chrome Comes To Android

Google released a beta version of its Chrome browser for Android today—a big step that marries 2 of Google’s most important programming projects.

Chrome for Android is available in the Android Market. This allows people to download Chrome for Android without waiting for handset makers to offer it through an operating system upgrade.

One caveat, however, is that Chrome for Android relies on newer hardware acceleration interfaces, meaning it only works on Ice Cream Sandwich.

Although most newer phones, like the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, run on Ice Cream Sandwich, it does remain a rarity in the current smartphone world.

Chrome for Android includes the desktop version’s tabbed browsing system, and also includes gesture-based controls for moving among the multiple tabs.

Chrome for Android also synchronizes with desktop versions of Chrome, allowing users to access their saved bookmarks, Web address autocompletes, and more.

The release of Chrome for Android is also important for tablets—the browser will display with tabs. Chrome’s aim was for users’ experience to be as close to desktops as possible.

With its performance and features, Google expects Android users to increase their mobile browser activity.

“In general, we have seen usage go up,” said Sundar Pichai, Google’s senior vice president of Chrome and Apps. “I expect to see more people use the mobile Web.”

Currently, Google estimates that 1 in 7 request for the search engine come from a mobile device or tablet. Google only hopes to increase that number with Chrome for Android.