Google has released a version of its Chrome browser for Android-based smartphones and tablets, bringing a number of new features optimised for use on mobile devices.
Available to download now, Chrome for Android is officially in a beta release, in keeping with Google's strategy of pushing out products before they are fully ready to see how well they are received.
The mobile version of Chrome runs on smartphones or tablets with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or above, and although designed from the ground up for mobile devices, it has many of the same features of the desktop version.
Tabs are supported, for example, but have been designed to fit naturally on a mobile device screen. Users can flip or swipe between of tabs using gestures, as if "holding a deck of cards in the palm of your hands," according to Google.
Link Preview is one feature added to improve the mobile browsing experience on a touch-screen, automatically zooming in on links on a web page to make it easier to pick out the required one.
The Sync feature allows users to see the same tabs they left open on their desktop PC, provided they sign in with Google account credentials on both systems.
Bookmarks can also be synchronised between copies of Chrome the same way, so users can access the same bookmarks on any device.
Chrome for Android Beta is available in select countries, including the UK, and can be downloaded for free from the Android Market.
Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.