The newly renamed Android Market, which would prefer to be called Google Play from this point on (thank you very much), is in a stir due to the release of the Chrome Beta for tablets running Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.0 and above. But before you go freaking out with glee and getting all fanboy over it, first take a look at how Chrome Beta stacks up against the built-in Android browser it’s intended to replace. In the words of Dr. Zaius to Charlton Heston: “You may not like what you find.”
As you might imagine from the implications of the moniker Chrome (with which all good things are associated), there’s plenty to be tickled about with the tablet browser’s debut. Its appearance replicates the experience of the full desktop version of Google Chrome, complete with the ability to launch additional tabs – but that’s no big a deal, considering this feature is something already available in the existing Android tablet browser.
Where Chrome Beta really differs, however, is in your ability to sync your tablet browser with your desktop browser and have cross-access to saved bookmarks as well as stored passwords. The trick to accessing this especially nifty feature is to first enable syncing on your desktop version, which doesn’t exactly require you to be a rocket scientist – but you may need to bone up on your problem solving skills since the designers of Google Chrome don’t exactly make it super-intuitive.
To sync up the Chrome browser on your desktop to Chrome Beta on your ICS-enabled tablet or smartphone, follow these steps.
- Install the latest versions of Google Chrome and Chrome Beta on your respective devices (desktop gets Google Chrome, Android gets Chrome Beta).
- If you’re already signed in to Google Chrome on your desktop, skip this step. If not, sign in by clicking the wrench icon on the top right corner of the browser toolbar and click Sign in to Chrome. You’ll be prompted to sign in with your Google Account credentials. If you don’t have one, go here and get one. If you’ve previously set up a Google Account using two-step verification, you’ll have to type in what’s called an application-specific password. If this is the case, go to your list of Connected Sites, Apps, and Services and generate a new password.
- Once you’ve signed in to Google Chrome on your desktop, click the wrench icon on the top right corner of the screen and select Options from the drop-down.
- Click the Personal Stuff tab.
- Click the Advanced button, which is located just below the Sign In subcategory. This launches a small window where you can set up your sync preferences.
- Choose what you want to sync (default settings are recommended) and click Okay.
- Next, sign in to Google Chrome on your Android device. Upon sign in, the open tabs, bookmarks, and omnibox data on your desktop are automatically synced to your mobile device.
There may be a short one- to two-minute delay in syncing, but once that time has elapsed you’ll not only be able to access bookmarks you’ve saved to your Chrome desktop browser (by accessing the Bookmarks tab in Chrome Beta on your mobile device), but you’ll also be able to access windows currently open on your desktop computer or other linked devices (by accessing the Other Devices tab in Chrome Beta).