Update Jun 2012: Google Chrome for iPad & iPhone has landed in the app store. 2 years after this interface design mockup article:
Original article: Despite the App craziness I strongly believe in the ‘Browser’ as the killer feature for the future of mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Android & Co). Apple did a wonderful job with Mobile-Safari to provide the first complete mobile browsing experience on a mobile device and clearly set the benchmark since then. Mobile-Safari for the iPad is good, but not yet great. There is clearly space for innovation and one of the most important features for the iPad/iPhone OS would be the option to choose between different browser.
Real Tab Browsing
‘Bringing back the old school Tab’! Tab Browsing on mobile Browser is mostly missing right now. Only Opera did a good job with Opera for iPhone and the iPad really needs a browser with real tab browsing. I know that there are technical limitations, for example the RAM, yet I would prefer four real browser tabs in the browser bar instead of nine Safari windows to choose from the menu.
Interface Concept by Smeidu: Chrome with touch ready Tabs & Buttons
It is clearly important to provide enough space for finger navigation between the tabs and buttons. The height of this ‘Chome for iPad’ bar is only 20px higher than on Safari.
The current bookmark handling in Chrome for Mac/PC isn’t perfect from my point of view, though I really love the Chrome bookmark sync feature between different computers. On Mobile-Safari – the ’save bookmark on HomeScreen’ is a great feature, which opens the door for WebApps to compete with native apps. So for my perfect iPad browser I would love to see the synchronize feature between different devices, the option to save bookmarks within the browser or on the iPad homescreen and a rich experience in browsing through my bookmarks, which is another point of failure of the current Safari for iPad.
Interface Concept by Smeidu: Chrome with redesigned bookmark menu
Another important aspect for the next generation of mobile browsers will be “finger gestures”. If user could handle the basic browser functions with fast finger gestures, the browsing experience would be much smoother. There are some cool new gestures within the iPad like the Photo App gestures. I wish for Apple to define some standard guidelines for advanced gestures by adopting similar mouse gestures which are already known from plugins for firefox & chrome.
iPad + Chrome ‘OS’. Best of both world?
The greatest thing about Google Chrome for iPad would be the combination of the two platforms. On the one hand the shiny iPad Hardware with the well-engineered OS and zillions of well-designed native Apps and on the other hand the Chrome Browser with the best-of ‘chrome OS’ features (WebApp Store, Google Apps, Extensions, …). Wouldn’t that be a promising future, where both companies and platforms could co-exists side by side?
I would love to hear your feedback!