After announcing a slew of new Android-optimized hardware and software products on Wednesday, Google announced on Thursday it will finally port Google Chrome, the second most popular Web browser in the world, to the iPhone and iPad operating system (iOS). In addition, Google will also release an iOS-optimized version of Google Drive, which is the company's cloud service for syncing and sharing information from your Google accounts to all your devices.
In February, we released Chrome for Android, which exited beta this week and is the standard browser on Nexus 7, a powerful new tablet, Google wrote on its official blog. Starting today, Chrome is also available for your iPhone and iPad. That means you can enjoy the same speedy and simple Chrome experience across your devices. Also, by signing in to Chrome, you can easily move from your desktop, laptop, smartphone and tablet and have all of your stuff with you.
Internet users have flocked to Google Chrome within the last year. According to Google, Chrome boasts more than 310 million active users, which is an astonishing jump from the 160 million users in 2011. Sundar Pichai, who heads up Google Chrome, says users have collectively downloaded an average of one terabyte of data daily, and have typed more than 60 billion words onto the platform.
It makes sense that Google should have a mobile client for the iPhone, since the company recently announced Chrome would be the default browser for the first time on the Nexus 7 tablet, and subsequently on devices running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean; Chrome requires at least Android 4.0 to operate.
Google also announced on Thursday it will bring Google Drive to iOS.
A modern browser is just one ingredient of living online seamlessly, Google wrote on its blog. We continue to invest in building cloud apps, which many people rely on daily. Gmail, which launched in 2004, has evolved from a simple email service to the primary mode of communication for more than 425 million active users globally. We've also built a suite of apps to help users live in the cloud, including Google Documents, Spreadsheets, Calendar and more.
Similar to cloud storage platforms like Dropbox and Box.net, Google Drive offers 5 GB of free storage for users, but for a small extra fee, users can upload files as large as 10 GB. Unlike other services however, Drive makes it extremely easy to collaborate on cloud documents through Google Docs; collaboration services like these typically cost a lot of money for individuals and businesses to use. Since iOS 6 allows opening and editing of encrypted documents (including Word files), Drive's offline editing and open collaboration feature can finally work on the iPhone and iPad.
About 5 million U.S. businesses use Google applications to live and work in the cloud.