The default web browser on Android phones and tablets uses the same WebKit rendering engine as the Google Chrome web browser for desktop and laptop computers. But it’s not Chrome.

Google Chrome beta for Android

But today Google has launched the first version of Chrome for Android. It looks like the desktop version of Chrome and features the same omnibox that lets you enter a URL or a search query — with suggestions popping up as you type.

When you sign in with your Google account you’ll automatically be able to access your bookmarks, search history, and other data from the desktop version of Chrome.

There’s also an option to view browser tabs that are open on other devices. If you’re signed into Chrome on your desktop, you can fire up Chrome on your mobile device and quickly open the pages you were just reading on your PC.

Google Chrome requires Android 4.0 or higher to run. I took it for a spin on my HP TouchPad today, and it feels ridiculously fast — especially when visiting pages that it can preload in the background.

Chrome also makes it easy to open an incognito window when you don’t want sites you visit to be saved to you history.

Brad Linder

Brad Linder is editor of Liliputing and Mobiputing. He's been tinkering with mobile tech for decades and writing about it since...