For some baffling reason Google currently offers two different web browsers based on the open source WebKit. There’s the Android web browser. And then there’s the Chrome web browser for Windows, Mac and Linux computers. Chrome is also at the core of the Chrome OS operating system… which is basically an operating system based on Chrome.
While both projects use the same basic rendering engines, the Chrome and Android web browsers don’t have all the same features.
Chrome supports browser tabs, bookmark and password synchronization between computers, and the installation of apps from the Web App Store. There’s also a new feature called Native Client for Chrome which lets you run desktop-style apps in your web browser while avoiding malware by keeping those apps from making deep changes to your operating system.
The Android web browser does a decent job of letting you surf the web on an Android phone or tablet. But it would be nice if all the hard work Google has put into improving the Chrome browser also benefited Android users. Now it looks like it might.
The folks at Recombu noticed a discussion on the Chromium Code site that suggest Google is preparing to built a version of Chrome that can run on Android.
At this point it’s not clear if Chrome might eventually replace the existing Android browser, or if it will simply be available as a third party app for those that want to download it from the Android Market. But at the very least, some of Chrome’s key features such as profile synchronization and speed dial-style apps would be welcome features in Android.
Right now you have to rely on third party browsers such as Dolphin HD or Opera Mobile if you want those features.