Top 10 tips for web browsing with Chrome on iPhone and iPad

BY Osas Obaizamomwan

Published 1 Feb 2016

There are many people out there that use their iPhone or iPad as their main internet surfing device. Mobile devices and cellular networks are now strong enough to support basically anything you can down on your computer. So, since web browsing on mobile is so popular you’d think there would be competition amongst browser providers. There is not. Google Chrome for iOS is a fan favorite even on devices that come with Safari by default.

Top tips for browsing with Chrome on iPhone and iPad

1. Quickly translate web pages 

While it would be awesome if we were fluent in hundreds of languages, that really isn’t possible. So, when you come across a website or web page that is in another language, Google Chrome offers the option to translate that page into your preferred language. Chrome will automatically recognize if the page is not in your default language and offer to translate it for you in a small pop-out window. You can say “Nope” or tap Translate to have the page translated. Translating will take a few seconds, and the page will reload with your chosen language translation. From there you can reject the translations and select “Show Original” or accept the translations by tapping Done.

Google Translate - Mobile

There is also a small toggle that will say, Always translate “Language”. If you toggle that on, anytime Chrome sees, in this case, an Italian webpage, it will automatically translate that page to English. And, if at any point you would like to change your translate settings you can go to Settings -> Content Settings -> Google Translate.

iOS Chrome - Translate

2. Swipe between pages

You can swipe to go back and forth between pages. Place your finger at the edge of the screen and swipe inwards to move between open tabs. This gesture looks to replace the need for you to constantly tap the back and forward buttons, instead taking advantage of the touch screen’s gesture capabilities.

Swipe to go back

At some point in time, you could actually switch between tabs by swiping from the very edge of the screen. But since iOS 9 uses the same gesture to swipe between apps, this can no longer be done in our initial testing.

3. View all and close all tabs

If you have numerous tabs open you can view or switch between them by tapping on the tab icon. The tab icon is located right next to the search bar and contains the number of tabs you currently have open inside of the square.

Tab - Chrome

Tap on this square to bring up all your tabs. Slide up or down to view the other tabs. To jump into another tap simply tap on the tab thumbnail. To close a single tab, tap the X or swipe the tab to the left or right to remove it.

Close Tabs - Chrome

And while Safari does have a more efficient layered tab preview, you cannot close all the tabs at once, which an extremely annoying omission. But fear not. In Chrome, tap the tab icon followed by the Menu icon (the vertical dots) and select Close All Tabs.

Close all tabs - Chrome

4. Zoom Zoom

Google Chrome has a cool feature that lets you zoom in anywhere on a web page by double-tapping the area you want to see. This works great if you are trying to zoom in on an image on a webpage full of text. But it also works great for text based pages as well. If there is a page with a bunch of headers and smaller text below, you can zoom in on a paragraph with a quick double tap, versus pinching to zoom on a particular area.

Tap to Zoom - Chrome

The double-tap to zoom feature only works on websites and webpages that are not mobile friendly. So, if you are viewing websites that were tailor-made for the desktop and not optimized for mobile devices, you can use this feature.

5. Browse Incognito

Maybe there are still some people out there who are not aware of Incognito mode for the Chrome Browser. But basically, when you open a tab in Incognito, none of your browsing information will be saved to your history and there will be no cookies left behind. To open up an Incognito tab, press the Menu icon and select New Incognito* Tab.
Incognito - Chrome

Going Incognito does not mean that you suddenly become invisible. If you are at work, turning on Incognito mode will not make everything you do hidden from the IT team. It’s really only a safeguard for your own personal desktop privacy. It also comes in handy when someone is using your computer to log into Gmail or Facebook. Instead of having to sign yourself out of these accounts, open up an Incognito window for them and they can enter in their own information without messing with yours or worrying about leaving their own logins behind.

6. Chrome Flags

Screen Shot 2016-01-31 at 4.01.55 PM

Chrome Flags for the desktop allow super powerful tweaks to the browser. There are a ton of flags available on the desktop and also Android devices, but not so much for iOS. While there may not be a bunch, there are a few available. Remember flags are experimental, so if you don’t know what they are, do not enable them.

iOS Flags

7. Share pages

If you come across a website or page that you really want to share with someone, Chrome makes it pretty easy to do so. Whenever you feel the need to share, tap on the Menu icon (three vertical dots) and hit the Share icon. From there, the Share Sheet will pop up, providing you with a nice list of sharing options like Email, Facebook, Twitter, Notes, and Messages.

Share - Chrome

8. Default Google Apps

Chrome allows links and other items to be opened in Google Apps by default. You can add more items to the app list and enable certain apps in the Settings. Tap on the Menu icon and go to Settings -> Google Apps and enable or install Google apps to be launched whenever a corresponding link is available.

Google Apps - Chrome

9. Voice Search

I enjoy Siri very much, but Google’s search assistant has always been a little more accurate and a little faster at picking up what I am trying to say. Now you don’t need to download the Google Search app for that. You can use the built-in voice search in Chrome’s mobile app. Just tap the search bar, followed by a tap on the colored microphone. Speak your search parameters and Chrome will do the rest.

Voice - Chrome

If Chrome knows the website you are asking it will take you directly to it. For example, asking for will take you right to their webpages. All other search queries will simply open up a Google results page.

10. Request desktop site

If the mobile version of a site just isn’t cutting it, you can request the desktop site instead. Tap on the Menu icon and select Request Desktop Site from the list. Some mobile versions of sites remove items or place them in different menu to better fit the screen. Many people request the desktop version of a site for familiarity and knowing where to find certain site features.

Request Desktop Site


Let us know what you think about our list in the comment section. Did you favorite feature make the list?