Chrome on iOS is sluggish, but at least it syncs

Chrome for iOS - icon

Chrome for iOS - icon

During day two of the Google I/O conference the company moved away from the topics of Google Glass and Android to talk about its Chrome web browser and related web technologies. The Chrome web browser stole the show with the announcement that an iOS version would be available for the iPhone and iPad. There were also smaller reveals, such as the fact that Chromebooks would be sold at Best Buy, but those released much less fanfare than the notion of the speedy Chrome browser on Apple’s mobile hardware.

Chrome on landing in the App Store is a big deal. Unfortunately, Apple has instituted some restrictions that handily prevent mobile Safari from being dethroned

With that said, Chrome on iOS is an interesting development and it does bring several neat features to Apple’s mobile users. The most noticeable benefit is gaining access to Google’s Chrome interface. The user interface features a single text input bar for URL and search entries, and tabs listed above the URL bar (with gesture support for tab switching). The Google browser also includes a private browsing mode — called Incognito — that is much easier to find (and use) versus Safari which hides the feature in the Settings application.

Google's Chrome web browser running on an Apple iPhone.Being Chrome, it is able to access and sync browser bookmarks and saved passwords from Chrome browsers on other systems when logged in with your Google ID. Another new feature allows you to see the websites open on your other Chrome instances — on desktop or other mobile platforms — and open them in the Chrome browser on your iPhone or iPad (or the other way around). Users are also reporting that Chrome is able to open more tabs at a time than Safari, which limits you to 8 open browser tabs.

Although Chrome on iOS has several useful features, in the end it is mostly mobile Safari with a new skin. The back-end and underlying web page rendering code is the same WebKit libraries that Safari uses. You will not find Google’s customized “V8” rendering engine — which the desktop version of the browser uses to improve JavaScript performance. To make matters worse, while Safari is allowed to use Apple’s “Nitro” JavaScript engine to speed up page load times and web application performance, Chrome is prohibited from accessing the Nitro libraries (as are all third party browsers).

This means that Apple’s Safari browser will have a large advantage when it comes to performance. Initial benchmarks comparing performance (JavaScript and page load times) between the two browsers do seem to support that statement — with Safari displaying significantly better benchmark results and, in some cases, slightly decreased page load times. Taking away the tweaked V8 JavaScript engine and Google’s other WebKit touchups is a big disadvantage. Granted, this may be somewhat mitigated by Chrome’s ability to pre-fetch web pages, but it is still not good news for the iOS version.

The other major barrier to Chrome overtaking Safari on iOS is that Apple does not allow the competition to be set as the default browser. Any web links given to you in email, messaging, or other applications will continue to open with the native Safari browser.

Chrome on iOS does start to seem like a fruitless venture (pun intended) when presented with the disadvantages (and once the glamor and allure of a new browser wears off). At the same time, Chrome does have an edge in usability — especially if you use Chrome exclusively on your other systems — and it is a foothold into the Apple customer base. It may not win any performance awards (yet), but it does get the Google Chrome name out there in front of potentially millions of people as an alternative to Safari. It will likely be downloaded by quite a few people (at least 2,980 people have rated it so far), who might then check out Chrome on the desktop, on their MacBook, and so on.

Is Chrome on iOS a “Safari Killer?” Probably not, but it will be a successful product all the same.

Chrome for iOS (App Store)

How to Read .ePub Ebooks on Firefox and Chrome [Quicktip]

ePub Firefox

ePub is an open standard format for ebooks, a format used to publish electronic books, magazines and newspapers. The difference between an ePub format file with a normal doc file is its reflowability to suit the many display dimensions of mobile devices i.e. tablets, smartphones etc. It was created to be flexible with font size and text layout, allowing you to read the same material on any mobile device that you may own.

However, it is not possible to open files with *.ePub extensions on your browsers, even though you can do that with *.pdf and *.doc (opened with Google Docs) files. To open *.ePub formatted files, you need an ebook-reader application like those available on tablets like the iPad, or e-readers like the Kindle or Nook. With more and more publishers switching to producing their ebooks in .ePub versions, you may think that the only way you can keep your reading habits up is to get yourself an e-reader or tablet. Hold that thought.

In this quick tip, we are going to share with you how you can open *.ePub files on your browser with EPUBReader on Firefox and MagicScroll on Chrome. These extensions are made as a minimalist ebook reader that will allow you to browse through ebooks directly from these two browsers.

EPUBReader for Firefox

if you are using Firefox, get to the EPUBReader extension page and click the green button ‘Add to Firefox’ to install EPUBReader.

ePub Firefox

When installation is complete, you will see an additional button appear at the top right corner of your Firefox browser, click the button to launch EPUBReader.

FireFox epub reader

You will then be redirected to your reader page where you will find lots of ebook collections that are available from and for free.

epub firefox

If you want to download an ebook with an .epub extension from the Internet, EPUBReader will automatically load the ebook for you.

fireforx ebook reader

MagicScroll For Chrome

To start reading ebook from your Chrome browser, go to the MagicScroll extension page and click on ‘Add to Chrome’ to install.

epub chrome

Once installed, you can open a new tab and go to this web address:

When the page is loaded, you will see your ebook library. To add new ebook to your library, click on ‘Add a Book to Your Library’.

magicscroll chrome

Now you will be given options to import the ebook from your computer, or provide the link to an ebook source if you want to add them from the Internet.

chrome add ebook

Once added, all ebooks will be accessible from your library.

chrome ebook library

To read an ebook, click on any available ebook cover from your library.

chrome ebook reader

Using MagicScroll on Chrome makes you feel like you are reading on an e-reader. There are 4 menu buttons available at the top left corner of each book page. They will bring you to the library main page, table of contents, options to change font size and theme colors as well as option to download the ebook locally onto your computer.


With these two extensions for FireFox and Chrome, you can now read ebooks from the convenience of your browsers even when you are offline, and there is no need to get an e-reader or tablet, or install external applications for ebook.

20 Awesome “Battle of the Browsers” Artworks

web browser artworks

There was a time when Internet Explorer defeated Netscape and became the most famous (or most used) Internet browser in the world. Well, you know what happened next, basically IE screwed up, letting righteous Mozilla Firefox take over (easily) as reigning champ. Then, Google Chrome joined the war, became a tough contender and swiftly dethroned Firefox.

web browser artworks
(Image Source: foice)

The war amongst the browsers is so famous that, users, who evidently have their own favorite browser in mind, have translated their thoughts about this epic war of the browsers into artforms. Here, we are showcasing 20 creative (and some amusing) artworks that depict the never-ending battle between the mighty browsers. Note: All of the artworks below do not express or represent any viewpoint or favouritism of any particular Internet browser.

Browseristas. Each browser has its own beautiful aura. Note the use of the colors to represent the browsers. (Image Source: eskimoie)


Browser Battle. Only one will walk out the arena! And its the users who will decide the battle result. (Image Source: Konayashi)

browser battle

Browsers’ Battle. Google Chrome basically shocked the world when it slammed into the browser war so suddenly, just like what this artwork is trying to show. (Image Source: NYTimes)

browsers battle

Browser Trio. Long long time ago, there were 3 legendary browser dragons named Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome, who fought against each other to bring balance to the online realm. Genuine one, DragonarySilver. (Image Source: DragonarySilver)

browser trio

Browser Wars. Shoze is drawing what I currently see. I was once an Internet Explorer’s fan, you know. (Image Source: shoze)

browser wars

Firefox Fights Internet Explorer. If IE’s icon is as cool as what Derlaine8 drew below, it would have gained back some of its lost users! (Image Source: Derlaine8)

firefox fights internet explorer

Firefox vs Internet Explorer. With the rise of Internet Explorer 10, the winner of the battle is yet to be seen. But let’s not forget Google Chrome. (Image Source: Greg Bakes)

firefox vs internet explorer

Firefox vs Chrome. Painted by foice, this awesome artwork showed the truth – for now it’s really just a war between the firey fox and A.I. Chrome. (Image Source: foice)

firefox vs chrome

Firefox vs Google Chrome. Each has their own advantages, but only the one who focuses the most on users will win! (Image Source: crazyrems)

firefox vs google chrome

Fssss. Cool and expressive! Google Chrome is a ticking timebomb that makes IE look over its shoulders all the time. (Image Source: oneblog)


IE6 Denial Message. The odd one out. Every web designer knows that IE6 is such a bad boy, but for me IE7 somehow inherited its problematic genes. (Image Source: John Martz)

ie6 denial message

If Browsers Were Guns. Hey, I wonder which gun represents Internet Explorer? (Image Source: 9GAG)

if browsers were guns

If Browsers were Cats with Guns. When all else fails, use cats to deliver your message. (Image Source: Hill Top IT)

if browsers were cats with guns

If Browsers Were Celebrities. I agree with the opinion regarding Chrome, although Chrome’s more like Morgan Freeman to me! (Image Source: Walyou)

if browsers were celebrities

If Browsers Were Superheroes. Firefox is strong, Chrome is fast, don’t you agree? (Image Source: C-Section Comics)

if browsers were superheroes

If Browsers Were Transports. An honest review by CollegeHumor, ’nuff said! (Image Source: CollegeHumor)

if browsers were transports

Internet. This was what every web designer said to me, until Google Chrome joined the race. (Image Source: Haikera-Baiketsu)


Internet Explorer’s 15th Birthday. Am I the only one who thought the HTML 5 gift is little bit sarcastic? (Image Source: Gizmodo)

internet explorer's 15th birthday

Mobile Browser Wars. How about a game of mobile browser wars! Judging by the interface, it should be fun! (Image Source: MobilityWire)

mobile browser wars

Which Web Browser Do You Like. I think I like all browsers then. (Image Source: You-Ta)

which web browser do you like


Just like the mobile war between iOS, Android and Windows OS, the browser war would not yield a clear winner for as long as their creators continue to forge improvements for their users. I think this competition is really healthy, as in the end it’s the users who get to enjoy all the benefits. This is also a good lesson for designers and developers, that user-focused features and user experience are what truly matters.

I personally favor Google Chrome for its speed and clean interface! What’s your current favorite browser? Sound off at the comments section below.