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May 8, 2013

Google Creates Code to Integrate Chrome With iOS Apps

Follows Update to Gmail for iPhone, iPad

Google, once again, is stepping on rival Apple’s toes.

The technology giant has developed code that allows third-party iOS app makers to have users go to Chrome rather than Apple’s default Safari browser.

“As an iOS app developer, when your users want to access web content, you currently have two options: create your own in-app web browser frame, or send users away from your app to a browser,” software engineer Michele Aiello said in a blog post.

“With Chrome’s OpenInChromeController class with x-callback, users can open a Web page in Chrome and then return to your app with just one tap.”

After the OpenInChromeController class has been downloaded, the callback module will be able to detect if Chrome for iOS is installed.

Google image In the example above, a YouTube user has opened a link in Chrome. “YouTube” is prominently displayed in Chrome’s back button. Touching “YouTube” returns the user to the YouTube app.

Google image
In the example above, a YouTube user has opened a link in Chrome. “YouTube” is prominently displayed in Chrome’s back button. Touching “YouTube” returns the user to the YouTube app.

Users can then send links to Chrome with or without x-callback enabled. They can also specify if they wish to open a new tab when sending a link to Chrome.

Google’s Chrome integration comes just one day after a substantial update of its Gmail app for the iPhone and iPad.

The update allows users to choose how to open links in e-mails through Google apps such as Chrome, YouTube and Google Maps. For instance, YouTube links in Gmail will open in the user’s YouTube app, URLs will open in Chrome and location links will come up in Google Maps.

Users can turn this feature off using the in-app settings.

The update also offers added support for signing out of a single account rather than being forced to sign out of all accounts at once.

To download the app, click here.

The Gmail app update and the OpenInChromeController class thwart one of Apple’s most-criticized defaults. Until now, any links opened by iOS users automatically came up in the Apple’s Safari browser, even if the user had changed the default browser to Chrome, Firefox or another browser.

iOS also forces developers to either design a Web browser frame within its app or forces users of the app to use Safari.

As yet, there has been no word on if Apple will change settings or code to  stop the Google apps from circumventing its default settings.

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