Google unifies mobile, desktop Web experience with Chrome for Android
The newly introduced Chrome for Android mobile browser will enable Google to differentiate Android from iOS and could open up new marketing opportunities for brands.
Chrome for Android, which Google introduced earlier this week, enables users to take a personalized Web browsing experience with them as they move from desktop to mobile and back again. The browser aims to simplify mobile Web use, therefore potentially encouraging users to spend more time on the mobile Web.
“For Google and Android, this is a way to differentiate from iOS,” said Michael Morgan, an analyst at ABI Research, New York. “When you do something on your desktop it is there on your phone – everything is synched
“IOS has shared bookmarks but you are not going to be hopping from device to device and having the same experience.”
The path toward HTML5
While the Android Market for mobile apps is still going strong, by porting Chrome over to Android, Google is showing that it also supports the idea of HTML5-based Web apps that run within a browser. This offers developers more flexibility to create a single app that runs across different devices.
“Chrome is very HTML5 based,” Mr. Morgan said. “Chrome will actually move Android further along the path toward full HTML5 – not that they were ignoring it before.”
With Chrome for Android, users will be able to easily and quickly search, navigate and browse the Web via their mobile devices. On desktop, Google Chrome has been gaining market share.
By signing in to Chrome on an Android device, users can view the tabs they left open on their desktop and pick up where they left off. Users will also see an auto complete suggestion for sites they visit often on their computer when they are browsing via an Android device.
Users can also sync bookmarks and easily swipe between tabs.
Additionally, users can zoom in on links to easily find the right one.
Chrome for Android was designed from the ground up for mobile devices, according to Google. It is in Beta and is available on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phones or tablets.
Chrome for Android could open up new marketing opportunities for brands by enabling a more seamless cross-screen experience for users.
While the experience between the desktop and mobile devices is currently disparate, with Chrome for Android, users can have a single experience.
“Today we have a desktop strategy and a mobile strategy,” Mr. Morgan said. “I could see how that might start to change.
“Now maybe there needs to be a universal strategy with a mobile, TV and desktop component to it,” he said. “Because the user will be switching between these experiences and brands are going to have to find a way to take advantage of that in their marketing.
The trick for marketers will be in figuring out how to take advantage of the specific strengths of each channel while still creating a single experience.
“Regardless of how the software is similar, consumers still use devices in slightly different ways,” Mr. Morgan said. “That is where the art is: How do you take advantage of what the smartphone offers versus tablets, TV and desktop.”