Apple is hosting its first fall event in a few days, and a public release for all of the company’s latest OS updates is expected to follow soon. However, anyone using the beta versions of these updates today can take advantage of a new feature in advance: setting Google Chrome as their default browser on iPhone and iPad.
iOS and iPadOS 14 both include the ability to set a third-party browser or email app as the system default, and replace Safari and Mail. Until now, however, beta users could not try the feature yet, because it is usually not possible for third-party apps to support new OS features until after the beta cycle is complete. However, this is not the case with Chrome, which as of the latest update can now be configured as the default iOS and iPadOS browser. You need to run iOS or iPadOS 1
When Chrome is set by default, any link you tap on the entire system in Chrome opens instead of Safari. It’s that simple. Whether you open a link in an app like Messages or even from inside Siri results, the operating system will always launch links directly in Chrome. The only friction left is apps that use Safari View Controller as a browser in the app instead of sending you to a separate app when you click on a link. Slack behaves like this, for example. Fortunately, all you have to do is tap the Safari-inspired icon in the Safari View Controller that sits next to the share icon and the page opens in Chrome.
Now that Chrome supports this new iOS and iPadOS 14 feature, we can start seeing other browser apps and even email clients debuting updated versions that can be set by default. I’ll not be surprised to see Gmail follow Chrome’s lead soon.
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