Google I/O: Chrome, Drive coming to the iPad and iPhone

June 28, 2012

Google said Thursday at its developer conference that it will bring its popular Chrome browser to the iPad and the iPhone, giving Apple users another browser option on iOS devices.

The app is set to hit the App Store later Thursday, and will be able to sync your Chrome bookmarks across devices.

Another Google product is also making its way over to Apple products — Google Drive. The program is available for download from Apple’s App Store.

It’s really good news for any users who have been storing their documents in Google Docs but haven’t made the jump to an Android tablet. Using the browser version of Google Docs has been clunky — though the app doesn’t fix all of those problems, either.

Users can’t create or edit docs in the Google Drive app itself. Google has made it possible to open any file online or in select other apps such as Dropbox, Evernote, Kindle or SkyDrive. To enable offline access to view a document in the app, users can head to the list of their files and open the menu for each file by hitting an arrow to the right of each title. From there, they can set permissions, enable or disable off-line access and share the files.

Even better, Google said Thursday that it will be giving users offline access to Google Docs so that they can still edit their documents when not connected to the Internet. The catch is that offline docs will only work when running the Chrome browser. To enable offline Google Docs, users should sign into Google Drive and head to the settings menu. Then, pick “Set up Docs offline.”

From there, Google will direct you to download the Google Drive app for Chrome and you should be able to access your Google Documents even when you’re not connected to the Internet.

The company made a few other Chrome-related announcements at its developer show. For one, Chrome for Android is out of beta, now classified as a “Stable” app. Also, Chromebooks will now be available in select Best Buy stores across the country. Finally, the company gave one big stat about its Web browser: Chrome now has 310 million active users, as compared to the 160 million announced at the show last year.

Related stories:

Google I/O: Google Glass detailed

Google’s Nexus 7 and Jelly Bean OS: made for each other

Google announces new tablet, Nexus 7

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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