Got iPad? Sure. Why not? There are about three times as many iPads on planet earth as Macs, and more Macs than Chromebooks, so what if you could get the best of all three worlds in one device. A Mac-like experience with Chromebook-like apps on the best mobile device that does not fit in your pocket?
That would be an iPad running Google apps. Think of it as the best Chromebook you can buy. How so?
Some say we live in the golden age of browsers and I won’t disagree, except to point out that the worst browser is the single most used browser. Safari? Nope? Internet Explorer? Uh uh. Firefox? Puhleeze. Google’s Chrome is the experience for most folks traversing the interwebs and that puts a Chromebook experience in a browser tab.
Now, download and fire up Chrome for iPadOS– specifically, iPadOS 13, due on the streets in a couple of weeks– and you get a Chromebook experience of sorts on an iPad. The problem that a Google infested iPad solves is the one where mobile apps fall short of the desktop experience, and where there is no real mobile desktop experience.
The interwebs is littered with websites that do not play nice-nice on your phone. iPad with Chrome fixes that.
Ross Rubin has an idea whose time has come:
There are still many websites that don’t function as well as they do on desktop platforms; these deficiencies become more evident on larger displays such as tablets where there is more of a laptop-like experience expectation
Think about this for a minute. No more. Chromebook is a mostly browser experience; solid, stable, secure, but lacking in exactly what Apple does best with iPad– an ecosystem of applications that offer more than Windows, Mac, and Chromebook put together.
Add Google’s Chrome browser to the mix and you get the best of all the worlds in one device.
Apple and Google have taken divergent paths to improving the tablet-class browsing experience that will have surprising outcomes for their browsers depending on where they are running.
Google seems to have forgotten all about Android-based tablets in favor of ChromeOS on Chromebooks, but since that experience is basically browser-based on a platform that is melting away (PC sales are going nowhere fast), you have to ask, “What’s the point?”
Apple will release a new version of Safari that aims to virtually eliminate any compatibility issues with its desktop counterpart when viewed on an iPad. Why Google couldn’t similarly improve Chrome on Android instead of walking away from Android on tablets is a mystery.
That’s life with Google. The company has killed off more public-facing projects than Atilla the Hun killed off, well, enemies, so it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Chromebooks die, too.
If that worries you and your investments in hardware, think iPad. Specifically, an iPad running iPadOS, due in a few weeks. That’s where you will get a better Chrome as Chromebook experience.
There will be a tablet version of Chrome that boasts far stronger desktop compatibility, the one that runs on Apple’s platforms. That’s because browsers on iPad OS must use the Safari rendering engine.
Nobody knows exactly why Google allows the Android-on-Tablet experience to diminish; Apple sells far more iPads than Macs. But if you’re looking for a good Chromebook experience or a very good Google-on-tablet experience, there is an option.
Chrome users who want the best tablet browsing experience should be looking at an iPad.