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Google releases Chrome for Android

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Google announced Tuesday that it’s releasing a version of Chrome for its Android smartphone operating system, after three years.

“Today, we’re introducing Chrome for Android Beta, which brings many of the things you’ve come to love about Chrome to your Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phone or tablet,” wrote Google Chrome lead Sundar Pichai in a company blog post. “Like the desktop version, Chrome for Android Beta is focused on speed and simplicity, but it also features seamless sign-in and sync so you can take your personalized web browsing experience with you wherever you go, across devices.”

The new Chrome for Android will allow signed-in users to sync their tabs, bookmarks and search suggestions with their phone. On the flip side, it also includes the private “Incognito Mode” browsing already on the desktop version.

Chrome recently surpassed Firefox as the world’s second most-popular browser, according to analysis firm StatCounter’s December report, with 25.69 percent of the world market. That number climbed to 28.4 percent in January, according to the firm.

The browser is available in beta at the Android Market, just for devices running the latest version of the operating system, Ice Cream Sandwich. That version is only available on a handful of devices, however, so the beta is open — literally — to one percent of Android users.

To the other 99 percent: hang in there.

Related stories:

Chrome overtakes Firefox in global market share

How to choose what you share with Google

Experts: Google privacy shift will have greater impact on Android users

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