Early reviews of new (free) Google Chrome browser and Google Drive

As my fellow blogger Siva Om has noted, the big news this week (other than the iPhone's 5th birthday) is Google's release of two free apps for the iPhone and iPad: their Chrome web browser and their new Google Drive cloud storage service. You can read an early review of Chrome on AppleInsider. And Tecca says Chrome "is the browser you've been waiting for." Computerworld, however, says its Javascript rendering is slower than Safari's. Chrome has already captured the top spot on the App Store and has quite a number of features not in Apple's Safari, such as incognito mode, in which Chrome doesn't save your browsing history; unlimited tabs; a custom keyboard that facilitates typing Internet addresses; voice search; and more. If you use Chrome on your desktop computer, you can sync your settings, bookmarks, etc., with Chrome browser for iOS.

Google Drive is very much like the hugely popular Dropbox, and offers 5GB of free storage. I use Dropbox every day and have also begun using Google Drive. Any files I save to my Dropbox and Google Drive folders are almost immediately available on my other devices. I'm on vacation right now, and it's been such a convenience to have all my working files from my desktop computer available on both my laptop and iPad. I also like the feature that as I edit a file, my changes are immediately uploaded to the cloud. There's no longer any risk of losing my work. Ars Technica has a hands-on review of the Google Drive app. The main issue with using these services on an iOS device is that most of the files you access in the cloud are read-only. Tecca also faults it for not being able to edit any files in-app. But as Ars Technica points out, Google has recently purchased QuickOffice, one of the iOS office suites that works seamlessly with Dropbox, so maybe this functionality will soon be offered in their Google Drive app.

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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.