Google Chrome & Google Drive Apps Released for iOS

Google has done the almost-inconceivable: released Chrome web browser for iOS onto the App Store. Originally announced at Google’s I/O conference Thursday, through Google’s innate desire to dominate the computing landscape comes the mobile version of the company’s PC/Mac Internet browsing solution popularly acclaimed for its minimalistic features and speed.

Bringing over the simplistic interface Chrome fans have grown to love or hate, the app feels familiar to its desktop counterpart with the addition of a slick new card-based tab browsing interface for iPhone/iPod touch (along with a more customary option of tapping tabs or swiping on the iPad).

It would not be Google if there wasn’t an option to search from the address bar and be adorned with suggestions, so that is here as well. Also on-deck is Google’s own voice recognition service, effectively saying “no thanks” to Siri.

On iOS, Google Chrome’s claim to fame (at least until Safari adds akin features in iOS 6) is its instantaneous syncing of bookmarks, passwords, open tabs, and even omnibox data from the full desktop client to an Apple device. Also baked-in is the ability to build a reading list of links on your mobile devices from Chrome running on a PC or Mac.

One thing Apple’s rules do not allow Chrome to bring over is its own optimized web engine. Apple forces all browser apps to use its own version of WebKit utilized by Safari, although the company reserves its Nitro JavaScript engine exclusively for Safari. Thus Safari will remain the fastest browser app on iOS.

In one fell swoop, Google has also released a Google Drive app in the App Store. Starting users off with 5GB of storage for free, Google Drive stores and shares files from a user’s computer as well as their mobile devices in Google’s servers.

Having already quickly climbed the charts to number one, is this a sign that users are dissatisfied with Safari or just curious to see what Chrome is like on iOS?

[App Store link redux: Google Chrome, Google Drive]