With rivalry intensifying in the browser space, Google has updated its Chrome mobile browser with new capabilities aimed at making browsing faster and/or easier on the smaller screens of Android devices, iPads, and iPhones.
In a smaller tweak, Google has added better support for HTML5 features such as CSS Filters. Now, all web pages with CSS should display and work better on Android phones and tablets.
Chrome for iOS Updates
The latest version of Chrome for iPhones and iPads received an update, too. In a blog post, Google explained that to quickly view your tab history, you can now “simply press and hold the back button to access any page you had previously visited from that tab.”
The update also makes it simpler for users to share webpages. Tapping “menu” and then “share” allows you to link the webpage via email or a social network. Web pages can also now be shared via Messages.
In an upcoming feature, planned for rollout some time in the coming weeks, users will be able to view the search term in the omnibox rather than the longer search URL, helping to refine search queries and to display more information on the results page.
Google added that updating the browsers is an ongoing effort. “We’re continuing to add plenty of under-the-hood stability, security improvements and bug fixes to Chrome for both Android and iOS,” according to the blog.
Chrome Rival Opera Issues New Browser
Meanwhile, the Opera browser for Android mobile devices, a big Chrome competitor, also received an update this week.
Now released into beta, the new browser for Android is the very first from Opera to use the open-source WebKit rendering engine, the same engine that Google uses for Chrome and Apple uses for Safari.
Opera’s new browser borrows some features from Chrome, such as as tabbed browsing and a combined search and address bar, while also adding new features like Discover, Speed Dial, and an Off-Road mode.
Next, Opera plans to release an iOS edition of its WebKit-based browser.
Coincidentally or not, also this week, a report surfaced in the Financial Times that complaints from both Google and Chrome might have been behind an investigation by the European Commission into Microsoft’s failure to comply with a “browser choice” settlement on the PC side.
The EC fined Microsoft the equivalent of $731 million for failing to offer Europeans a “browser ballot” screen with Windows 7 Service Pack 1 PCs.