You were excited when Google Chrome launched on iOS. I was too; but then I remembered that you cannot simply make it your default browser, and this makes it tough for me as I actually want to use it. I think the browser offers an overall better browsing experience than Mobile Safari; it just needs a couple of small improvements to put it over the edge.
Fear not jailbreakers, because shortly after Chrome launched on iOS, the community was hard at work to bring the Cydia tweaks we needed to bring Chrome to the next level. Nearly every feature you think Chrome is missing is available with one of these tweaks. Whether you want Chrome to be your default browser or you want social sharing links, the magic of Cydia has you covered.
Of course, if you are not a jailbreaker, Chrome is still a fantastic browser with some great features (especially for desktop Chrome users). Whether you use these tweaks or not, I still recommend at least giving the browser a chance.
For me, the value of the Chrome browser on iOS is directly connected to the tweak BrowserChooser. It allows you to set Chrome as your default browser, so if you open a link from another program such as from an email or text message, it will open in Chrome instead of Safari.
To download this tweak, you will need to add a Cydia source. To do so you will need to go to “Manage,” “Sources,” and then click “Edit.” After that click add and type http://rpetri.ch/repo/. From there, download BrowserChooser and respring your device.
After you have BrowserChooser, you will need to go to your Settings app and scroll about halfway down the page. Click Browser chooser and then click Chrome. That’s it; Chrome is now your default browser.
Is making Chrome your default browser a little too much commitment for you? If so, ChromeMe is the perfect tweak for you. It keeps Safari as your default browser and adds a button to open any page you are viewing in Safari in Chrome. If you just want to dip your toe in Chrome, download this tweak and simply use Chrome for certain pages.
The thing that confuses me the most about Chrome is the cumbersome placement of the refresh button. I do not want to go into settings every time I want to reload a page. Thankfully, Chromizer is happy to assist in this matter. It adds a simple pull to refresh option. So many iOS apps use this mechanism that feels incredibly natural in the browser.
In addition to the ‘pull to refresh’ it also adds a full-screen browsing mode. You simply tap the screen with three fingers and it will open up the page in full screen. If you perform the same gesture again, it will bring it back to normal.
For iPad users who like the tab switching on the iPhone version of Chrome, this app adds that as well. All in all, it’s a fantastic tweak that really takes Chrome to another level.
Ever since I made the switch from Safari to Chrome, I have missed the social sharing options. However, I do not need to miss them anymore because BetterChrome brings them back with a vengeance. It allows you to share content over Twitter, Facebook and Google+ quickly and easily. Once you install the tweak, there is no setup required. Simply launch Chrome and you should see the option to share in the settings icon (which is next to the address bar).
If you miss telling your friends about the cool stuff you find on the web, the $1 price tag for one of the best Cydia tweaks should be easily justifiable. I’m not sure why sharing was not included with Chrome by default, and hopefully it will be added eventually, but this tweak should hold us in good stead in the meantime.
Google Chrome on iOS is a fantastic browser, and with these awesome jailbreak tweaks, it’s even better. If you have been holding off on trying it, give it a shot with these tweaks. It just might change the way you browse the web on iOS devices forever.