Google has just issued a big update to its Chrome app for iPhone and iPad that brings new “interoperability with other Google Apps” and a number of other notable features. That means that you’ll now be able to open all links for YouTube, Maps, Google+ and Drive in their native apps instead of in the browser. You’ll also now be able to access the apps with a single tap from within Chrome.
The update also brings enhancements to the newly introduced voice search capabilities, including: always visible controls from the toolbar and text-to-speech support for “all variations of English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, Japanese, and Korean.”
Other improvements in today’s update include fullscreen support on iPad, easier access to browser history, and, according to Google, data cost savings:
Reduce data usage and speed up page load times. View data savings in Bandwidth Management settings. This feature is being rolled out and will be available to all users over time.
Google explained the experimental data cost savings feature in a whitepaper when it was first introduced on Android. In the document, Google says its tests showed the feature can reduce data usage by up to 50%:
The latest Chrome browsers for Android and iOS can reduce cellular data usage and speed up mobile web browsing by using proxy servers hosted at Google to optimize website content. In our internal testing, this feature has been shown to reduce data usage by 50% and speed up page load times on cellular networks! To enable it, visit “Settings > Bandwidth Management > Reduce data usage” and toggle the option – easy as that… The core optimizations, which allow us to reduce overall data usage and speed up the page load times, are performed by Google servers. When the Data Compression Proxy feature is enabled, Chrome Mobile opens a dedicated SPDY connection between your phone and one of the optimization servers running in Google’s datacenters and relays all HTTP requests over this connection.
What’s New in Version 28.0.1500.12
• Interoperability with other Google Apps
◦ Option to open links for YouTube, Maps, G+ and Drive in the app instead of the browser.
• Enhancements to voice search
◦ Text-to-speech for all variations of English, Spanish, German, Italian, French, Japanese, and Korean.
◦ Toolbar controls are always available when using voice search
• Fullscreen on iPad
• Data cost savings
◦ Reduce data usage and speed up page load times. View data savings in Bandwidth Management, settings. This feature is being rolled out and will be available to all users over time.
• Access to browser history
• Stability / security improvements and bug fixes