New Motorola phones first to get Chrome for Android browser
Google's new browser struggles to gain usage share
Computerworld - The first smartphones to rely on Google's Chrome browser for Android will be Motorola Mobility's just-announced Droid Razr M, Droid Razr Maxx and Droid Razr HD, the company said Wednesday.
The Droid Razr M, the only one of the trio that was pegged with a price and ship date yesterday, costs $99.99 and will hit Verizon stores next week. Customers can pre-order a Razr M now from Verizon's website.
Chrome will be bundled on all three models, replacing other browsers, including Google's aged stock Android application, that are usually pre-installed on Android smartphones.
The move shouldn't have been a surprise: Motorola Mobility is a subsidiary of Google, which acquired the handset maker in May.
Google launched Chrome for Android in February, saying then that the long-term plan was for "Chrome to become the standard browser on Android 4.0 and above."
Chrome shifted from beta to a so-called "stable" build -- analogous to a final production version -- on June 27, the same day Google unveiled its Nexus 7 tablet, which also includes the browser.
Chrome for Android is based on Chrome 18, putting it three versions behind the current stable build for Google's desktop browser.
Because Chrome for Android requires Android 4.0 and later -- in other words, the editions dubbed "Ice Cream Sandwich" and "Jelly Bean" -- it has made little headway on the usage charts. Together, Android 4.0 and 4.1 power about 22% of all Android devices.
According to Web analytics company Net Applications, Chrome for Android accounted for just 0.5% of all mobile browsers that went online in August.
Apple's Safari 5.1, with a 48.3% share, is the world's most-used mobile browser in Net Applications' tracking.
Irish measurement company StatCounter, a rival to Net Applications in browser usage ranking, does not publish data about individual editions of Android-based browsers.
Although Chrome for Android will be the default browser for the new Razr smartphones, owners of other Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean can download the free browser from Google Play.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is email@example.com.
Google's Android OS
- Why Samsung needs to move beyond Android -- and Google
- Samsung Gear Live vs. LG G Watch: A real-world evaluation
- Android Wear deep-dive review: A smart start to smartwatch software
- OnePlus One deep-dive review: Unbeatable value for Android geeks
- Review: 5 video editing apps for Android
- Malware-infected Android apps spike in the Google Play store
- Nokia plans forked Android smartphone for Barcelona unveiling
- LG G Flex deep-dive review: The curious case of the curved phone
- Xperia Z1S deep-dive review: A stylish phone with power and panache
- Low-end smartphone battle forces Nokia to Android
Read more about Mobile Apps in Computerworld's Mobile Apps Topic Center.
- Use the Mobile App Mix to Choose an Enterprise App Store Strategy In this research report Gartner outlines how organizations can optimally secure, distribute, and manage mobile applications for employees and contracted workers.
- The Case for Mobile Apps Today's mobile apps turn handheld devices into e-book readers, portable navigation systems, digital wallets and more. And for organizations with mobile workers, they...
- The 5 Big Lies About Going Mobile You've heard about the power of mobile to change your business. But have you realized your mobile potential? It's about much more than...
- Transforming enterprise applications for mobile environments This new white paper explains how Dell Application Modernization and Development Solution Set can help you understand when to develop new mobile apps,...
- It's not too late...Get Your Mobile Questions Answered Live! How can IT provide seamless and secure mobile communications and collaboration for all? Join this live Webcast as IDG asks an expert panel...
- Why do you need an enterprise mobile platform? Today companies must offer great apps that run on a range of devices, and connect to an exploding set of backend data. Appcelerator... All Mobile Apps White Papers | Webcasts
Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!