One of the drawbacks of using an iPad or other mobile devices instead of a regular computer is that it can be hard to find suitable ways of doing the normal activities we’re used to. All of Apple’s products come with its Safari web browser, but it’s not always suitable for all web activities, whether it’s on a computer or mobile device. It doesn’t work with every website. Firefox and Google Chrome are used often to supplement Internet activity. For those who prefer using Chrome, iChromy is a suitable browser for the iPad, for when Safari just isn’t enough.
iChromy is not associated with Google at all, but it does have some of the same qualities Chrome has in a browser. Aside from that, it just has some much needed abilities. Safari’s iPad app just doesn’t have nearly enough.
1. Tabbed Browsing. For Safari to not have tabbed browsing on the iPad is really just inexcusable. It’s understandable on the iPhone, as you don’t have that type of space anyway, but for the iPad, you need it. iChrome’s tabbed browsing works just the same as you would expect it to and want it to. You can add tabs by clicking the “+” and delete them by clicking the “X.”
2. Bookmarks. All web browsers have bookmarks, even Safari, but iChrome makes them easy to use. There are no extra menus to add them. You simply click the star to the right of the URL field. To recall your bookmarks, click the bookmarks menu that looks like an opened book. To delete them, click edit, then the minus that appears next to the one(s) you want to delete. Click the icon in the far right to move them up or down in the list, and click the arrow next to that to edit the URL or name of the bookmark.
3. Reading Offline. There are a lot of apps and websites you can use to save web pages for offline reading. iChrome puts that option right there in the browser for you. If you click the eyeglasses in the URL bar, it adds the website to the Read Later list. If you click the icon that looks like a list, it recalls all the sites you saved to read later. Clicking edit allows you to delete them by clicking on the minus.
4. Sharing. It’s extremely easy to share your web pages with social networking sites. Clicking the icon that looks like a box with an arrow gives you a menu that allows you to share the site with Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Diigo, or Email. If you choose more, you get even more social networking sites. There’s no need to add other apps to aid in sharing. It’s all right there.
5. Tools. iChrome used to end with the above options, but they have now added even more that allow it to act even more like a desktop browser. It allows you to print, which depends more on the type of printer you have than the browser itself. It also allows “find in page,” something lacking in Safari and other mobile browsers. Additional options are controlling passwords, and clearing history, cookies, and caché, things you can only do with Safari if you go to the general iPad settings. It also offers you a choice of search engines to work within iChrome and a list of browsers you want it to “behave” as.
Using iChrome is still very much using a mobile web browser, but with all of these options, it makes it so that you don’t miss using a desktop browser at all.
iChromy (iTunes link)