New Motorola phones first to get Chrome for Android browser

Google's new browser struggles to gain usage share

The first smartphones to rely on Google's Chrome browser for Android will be Motorola Mobility's just-announced Droid Razr M, Droid Razr Maxx and Droid Razr HD, the company said Wednesday.

The Droid Razr M, the only one of the trio that was pegged with a price and ship date yesterday, costs $99.99 and will hit Verizon stores next week. Customers can pre-order a Razr M now from Verizon's website.

Chrome will be bundled on all three models, replacing other browsers, including Google's aged stock Android application, that are usually pre-installed on Android smartphones.

The move shouldn't have been a surprise: Motorola Mobility is a subsidiary of Google, which acquired the handset maker in May.

Google launched Chrome for Android in February, saying then that the long-term plan was for "Chrome to become the standard browser on Android 4.0 and above."

Chrome shifted from beta to a so-called "stable" build -- analogous to a final production version -- on June 27, the same day Google unveiled its Nexus 7 tablet, which also includes the browser.

Chrome for Android is based on Chrome 18, putting it three versions behind the current stable build for Google's desktop browser.

Because Chrome for Android requires Android 4.0 and later -- in other words, the editions dubbed "Ice Cream Sandwich" and "Jelly Bean" -- it has made little headway on the usage charts. Together, Android 4.0 and 4.1 power about 22% of all Android devices.

According to Web analytics company Net Applications, Chrome for Android accounted for just 0.5% of all mobile browsers that went online in August.

Apple's Safari 5.1, with a 48.3% share, is the world's most-used mobile browser in Net Applications' tracking.

Irish measurement company StatCounter, a rival to Net Applications in browser usage ranking, does not publish data about individual editions of Android-based browsers.

Although Chrome for Android will be the default browser for the new Razr smartphones, owners of other Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean can download the free browser from Google Play.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is

See more by Gregg Keizer on

Read more about mobile apps in Computerworld's Mobile Apps Topic Center.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?