There’s no question that Google Chrome is a lightweight and powerful web browser for iOS devices — and it’s always been neck-in-neck with Apple’s stock Safari browser. Whether you’re a long-time Chrome user, or you’re switching from another browser, here’s a list of useful tips so you can get the most out of your Chrome for iOS experience.
10. Launch Google Apps By Default
If you’re a Google power-user, and you have YouTube, Gmail and Google Maps installed on your iPhone, Chrome can automatically open corresponding links in those apps. Unfortunately, because of the way iOS is set up, you still can’t make Google Chrome your default web browser.
You can toggle this setting on and off for certain apps by tapping on Chrome’s Menu icon, and going to Settings > Google Apps.
9. Use Chrome Gestures
Chrome has a few gestures built-in to make it easy to navigate the app on an iOS device. To switch between open tabs, simply place your finger anywhere on the toolbar (where the URL field is located), and swipe left or right.
To go back to a previously visited page, just “swipe-in” from the left edge of the screen. Similarly, to go forward, “swipe-in” from the right edge of the screen.
8. Quickly View or Close Tabs
To view all of your open Tabs on Chrome, just tap on the square next to the URL field (the square will indicate you how many tabs you currently have open. If you have more than 100 open, it’ll just show a smiley face).
You can navigate through your tabs on this page. To close a tab, tap on the X or swipe the tab to the left or right. Alternatively, you can easily close out all of your open tabs by tapping on the Chrome menu icon, and then tapping on Close All Tabs.
7. Easily Translate Web Pages
A handy Chrome feature — and one that doesn’t have a close analog in the stock Safari browser — is the ability to quickly translate a webpage into the user’s preferred language.
Chrome will automatically detect if a website is in a foreign language, and will offer to translate the page for you in a small pop-up window. Once you hit Translate, the browser will do its magic, though it may take several seconds. You can accept the translation by hitting Done, or tap on Show Original if you’d rather go back to the page in its original form.
6. Smart Zoom on Non-Optimized Webpages
While most websites nowadays are optimized to be easily viewable on a smartphone, this isn’t always the case. Luckily, Chrome has a built-in Smart Zoom that lets you zoom in on a particular feature or area of a webpage. The Zoom mode will intelligently zoom-in on the feature that you tapped on.
To use it, rather than pinching-and-zooming, simply double-tap on the area in question.
5. Request Desktop Site
Speaking of non-optimized web pages, if you’d rather view a particular site in its desktop form, Google Chrome has an option for that, too. This is useful because web developers will sometimes negate certain features or menus on the desktop page when building a mobile site.
Simply tap on the three-dot Chrome menu icon, and tap Request Desktop Site.
4. Incognito Mode
Most Chrome users probably know about Incognito mode, but in case you don’t, here’s the low-down: essentially, it allows you to browse without fear of Chrome remembering your internet history. Additionally, Incognito mode won’t leave behind any cookies once all Incognito tabs are closed.
To use Incognito mode, simply tap the three-dot Chrome menu and tap on New Incognito* Tab.
3. Use Google Voice Search
Rather than Siri, Chrome has Google’s own intelligent Voice Search easily accessible in its iOS app. You can speak a search term, tell Chrome to go to a particular web address, or Google something via voice. If you’re logged into Google, and you have certain details saved to your account, you can even Google questions such as “What’s the traffic like to home?”
To use it, just open a new tab and click the microphone button next to the text field.
2. View Tabs Open on Other Devices
If you use Google Chrome across your various devices and computers, you can easily view and navigate all of your open tabs — no matter which device it’s current open on. To use it, just open a new tab and tap on the Clock icon in the bottom-right corner. You’ll see a new page pop up with recently closed tabs, and below that, a list of tabs open in Chrome on your other devices.
A side note, you’ll need to be logged into your Google account across all of your devices for this to work properly.
1. Preload Webpages
A neat feature hidden within Chrome’s Settings menu is the ability for the browser to preload webpages. Put simply, when you’re on a website, Chrome can predict where you may go next — typically the available links on the page you’re currently viewing. When turned on, Chrome will automatically load the pages in question in the background while you’re browsing. When you do decide to tap on one of those links, they’ll load almost instantly.
That said, this does use up a lot of data — and it can sometimes use data loading pages that you aren’t even going to visit. Thankfully, there’s an option to set it to Always, Only on Wi-Fi and Never via Chrome Menu > Settings > Bandwidth >Preload Webpages.