Feb 20 AT 1:56 PM Edgar Cervantes 41 Comments

Chrome Senior VP speaks about the future of Chrome for Android – big things to come


We have been begging and pleading for Android to get the Chrome browser for years. And now that we have a Beta version available for Android 4.0 devices, the world seems a bit more at peace. Many of you may currently be enjoying this to its full potential, but as usual, Google is not stopping any time soon. Senior VP of Chrome, Sundar Pichai, has gone on the record, and we are expecting some huge improvements within the coming year.

Google’s plan is to make more money directly from Chrome via purchases of web apps. In part, the browser for mobile is being improved, along with the experience, to lure customers into spending more cash on their browsing experience. But with Google Chrome being one of the most popular browsers out there, we assume that will be no problem.

Chrome for Android is only available for Android 4.0 devices, which makes for about 1% of the Android-using population. In just a few weeks, it has been downloaded from 100,000-500,000 times. Sundar Pichai is very proud of the consumer response, and claims that complaints are minor. But he plans to keep working hard on it, and goes on to say that in a year from now, Chrome will take “leaps and bounds.”

Given that it's a beta product and only available on ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich, aka Android 4.0, which has only barely penetrated the market), we're really happy where it is. I think most people haven't experienced it on tablets. They will discover a lot of good things there as well. We've received positive feedback, and the feature requests are pretty minor.

We are going to continue releasing Chrome for Android at a pretty healthy pace. In a year from now, we're going to take leaps and bounds.Sundar PichaiSenior VP of Chrome

But what exactly are some of the improvements we are talking about? The details are scarce, but Pichai goes on to mention that people’s favorite characteristics of Chrome for Android are the speed, sync and tab stack. And what users request more is the ability to see full desktop versions of websites. As we know, the days of Flash are over, but the team will be focusing on HTML5 and assures us that they are working on bringing this feature.

There is much to expand on, and it would be great to see all of the other Chrome features come to Android. Extensions and apps are just the beginning. But we would like to know what you guys think. What do you think we will coming from Chrome in a year?

Hit the source link to read the full interview, and let’s see what the future holds for Chrome.

Source: CNET

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • spazby

    Full web pages is a must going forward…

    • jonathan3579

      Agreed. The mobile only versions was one of the things that steered me back to the stock browser. I have to admit though, it has A LOT of potential!

    • Jeff Pan

      I do think there a future for mobile web apps -> Write once work on Android, iPhone and WP

      • ericl5112

        That idea is a lot less attractive to a lot of developers than people think. Even solutions like phonegap perform less well than native code, do not have access to all features of the OS, and most people do not like apps that look like they were written for another platform.

        Write once, run everywhere is great for something like local events, or something like a museum’s app, since it is cheap and easy to get wide adoption. Someone who is really developing apps for their own sake do not tend to want this. At least I don’t, and many other developers I’ve been in contact with feel the same. If the app is more than a supplement to a bigger attraction (ie a local event/attraction), then write once, run everywhere is not the way to go.

        • Jeff Pan

          I agree with some of your points.

          If I own a company, I would want my app to look the same across all platforms.

          • ericl5112

            No you wouldn’t. You’d want your app to attract consumers. If you opened an app on your android, and it looked like it had been pulled off the iPhone, you wouldn’t like the app as much. Same would be true of the reverse.

            If you are a company who cares about their app, you will create a brand identity across all your apps, but each one should also conform to the platforms UI. People do actually notice if you don’t, and most do not like it, even if they don’t know why.

          • Jeff Pan


            Take “Path” for example.

            I haven’t used their iPhone App – but from what I seen from my friend’s iPhone, they do look pretty similar to the Android App which I have used. They maintain their unique UI experience across platforms.

          • thekaz

            I think “look the same” is a simplification of what you really mean here. I think “look and feel” encompasses it better. What you really are looking for is that when a user goes to a platform, there is a level of comfort that they will be able to use the app because they’ve used it on another platform. It should not be foreign to them just because it is on a different platform.

            Now, to others’ points, that doesn’t mean all the functionality will be present on each platform, because, frankly, mobile platforms may offer some limitations at this point. Or, you may offer a “simplified” version for mobile because you know when people use a mobile device over a laptop, say, it is because they may want, for example, to do something much more quickly and are willing to accept shortcuts or defaults.

            I think this limits the amount of “one solution for all” that is even possible, let alone desirable.

  • Alvin B.

    What’s in the picture with this article? That looks a lot like the Notion Ink Adam panels….

    • ericl5112

      That’s how tabs look in chrome in landscape on a phone.

  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    I’m somewhat curious about this additional revenue model and how it will work. Given the Android Market is available to us, I simply cannot see the Chrome Store being something that anybody really cares about (with the exception being those with devices that don’t have access to the Android Market – I guess I can see that being a new revenue stream for them, but for the sake of this question, please ignore that since that’s clearly tiny compared to the Android Market).

    Can somebody please explain this to me?

    • ericl5112

      Extensions. I would love to see my lastpass extension in chrome for android, as well as a few other goodies.

  • Meister_Li

    I’d really like to see Extension support on Chrome as well as auto-hiding the address bar when you scroll down.

  • Lulu

    I’m loving Chrome on my Galaxy Nexus now, you’ve started off great Chrome Android devs.

    • delinear

      Same here, the look and feel is spot on, I love the way tabs work (I love that you can dismiss tabs the same way as you dismiss notifications from the notification bar or apps from the app switcher, by flinging them left or right – yes I’m easily amused). Things I’d like to see next are a nice bookmarks widget (resizable would be even better) and the option to view the full desktop version of a site as per the stock ICS browser. Other than that I love what they’ve done so far.

  • ddpacino

    Aside from the mentioned, I’d like to be able to open my mobile tabs on my desktop browser(s), open Trans from another desktop, as well as close a tab or two from a stack on another device and have that action synced as well. There currently doesn’t seem to be a way to do either of those.

    This degree of syncing is giving me a taste of the continuous client experience I’ve always desired. Doesn’t matter if you’re on a Chrome browser on a Mac or PC, a Chromebook, or any Android mobile device, you can always sign into your Google profile and pick up your browsing experience exactly where you left off. Good work, Google. Keep it up.

    • ddpacino

      *open tabs from another desktop

  • txbluesman

    Man, I am just stoked that it is out there. We all know they will steroid it up. Can’t wait to get me some ICS on my Nexus S 4g. Come on!!!!!

  • YellowDucati

    Not Flash-ey enough. :(

  • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff

    Honestly, it’s only a matter of time until Chrome OS is integrated directly into Android, such that when a tablet is connected to a keyboard and mouse, it changes the UI. Or, when a phone is connected to an HDTV, it automatically pops up Chrome.

  • George

    1) Option to turn on/off Flash support
    2) Option to change user-agent from Desktop to Android
    3) Peanut-butter flavor

    Other than that, Chrome on the Nexus rocks…

  • Shawn Clark

    I can’t wait til I’m able to download Chrome for Android.

  • McLovin

    It’s been downloaded 1/2 million times? LOL I downloaded it at least 3 times before I figured out it wasn’t going to run on anything that doesn’t have Ice Cream Sandwich, only a Nexus and not my feeble Gingerbread. It’s time for a CyanogenMod 9 upgrade!

  • mustybooks

    Awesome new browser can’t wait to see how it improves for coming out of beta.

    Option for desktop view is a must have though. Until then I think I’ll be using stock browser, which is a shame because I love the stacks.

    Hopefully they’ll release it on 2.3/3.0 so everyone can enjoy it!

    • mustybooks

      *and firmware below

  • epps720

    I would love for it to have quick gestures similar to, ICS Broswer +. I use Chrome as my main browser but really miss the quick gestures, makes one handed operation 10x easier!

  • ArticulateFool

    I’m using it as we speak. I only have to jump to the regular browser every one in a while.

    I can’t wait to experience what is in store.

  • Hall Lo

    I don’t think anyone will deny that the Chrome Beta now is pretty good already ;) Really look forward to more improvements and tweaks on it :D

  • http://theandroidappshow.com Lane

    When downloading an apk from the web, Chrome downloads it as a zip file.

    If they do have apps for mobile Chrome then they MUST install to the app drawer to even begin to stand a chance to be taken as a real app.

  • aranea

    The extensions similar to desktop version as little button on the address bar will be great. So “Send to phone” can become “Send to desktop”

  • themost

    I would love to see themes implemented. They made the desktop version very aesthetically pleasing and I’m sure they would do the same for the mobile version. :D

  • Onac Ixem

    I’d like to see Flash support someday, as a lot of websites STILL use Flash content these days.

    • http://www.jimtravis.com jimtravis

      Totally agree. For years, mobile users were relegated to a subset of the web while only Flash supporting desktop OS’s could view the full web. You notice Apple never showed the bottom half of their favorite website to show off Mobile Safari the first few years because the home page at the time required Flash to see the video. Although that site, and many others now offer alternate formats, there are still many web sites, and web videos that require Flash to view completely. Many sites will never offer an alternate non-Flash format. With Android 2.2, we finally got Flash support and joined the full web experience desktop OS’s in the ability to view the full web. On low powered devices, you may only get a 15 to 20 frame video with full audio vs the 25 to 30 frames original; however, that was certainly better than the competition’s zero frame video, and zero frame audio since they did not support Flash.

      I am surprised many Android sites are not pleading with Google and Adobe to continue Flash, and offer it in Chrome along with expanding HTML 5 support. The best browser is the one that can display just about any site regardless of format used. In order to meet that goal, Flash is needed in addition to supporting the latest standards. One of the prime benefits of Android over the mobile competition was the Flash support, yet many Android fans are welcoming its elimination from Chrome. You can always set Flash to on demand only to limit its need for resources, but when needed to view an older, but still significant site, you have the necessary resources. Unfortunately, we Android users are again being relegated to second class web citizens again unless Google reverses its decision.

  • jlschulz

    don’t want chrome, don’t ikke chrome. I’m moving to windows phone to get away from it.

  • OutofPlace

    Google has to update/debug Chrome for Google TV. The version sitting on my Revue is less than substandard. My fear is that when Google unveils Google TV 2.0 that those of us with Revues will be left in the wasteland, and that’s a shame. I love the potential of that box. I love what it COULD offer.

    Google just needs to make some breakthroughs happen (i.e. network content and a better browsing experience) and they will own the media marketplace. But as it stands now most of my Google TV experiences end in frustration because the search for content winds up in a dead end or a locked-up browser window because Chrome is spinning its outdated little wheels.

  • Ashirbad

    when you +1 a page a sharing tool will appesr thats how i shared this article

  • ericl5112

    That is the stock browser, not chrome. Chrome doesn’t have that.

  • ericl5112

    Not on chrome. You can on stock, but chrome doesn’t support flash at all.