Later this year, iPhone users will get on-the-go, iCloud-enabled access to any open browser tabs on their desktops. It’s a nifty new feature for anyone who’s heading out the door but wants to keep web surfing—and it also happens to be a trick you can perform on your Android phone right now.
All you need is a Google account and the mobile version of Google’s impressive Chrome web browser, which is now available (and free) for Android handsets.
Update [6/28/12]: The mobile version of Chrome—including the ability to sync your open browser tabs—is now available for iPhone and iPad, as well.
Ready to take your desktop browser tabs on the road? Here’s how:
- First, you’ll need to install Google’s Chrome browser on both your desktop and your Android phone. You can download the desktop version of Chrome here, then grab the mobile Chrome over here.
- Next, you must sync the desktop version of Chrome with your Google account. (Don’t have one? You can sign up for free here.) On your desktop, launch Chrome, click the little wrench in the top-right corner of the browser, select “Sign in to Chrome,” click in the “Sign in to Chrome” button near the top of the following page, then enter your Google email address and password.
- Once that’s done, a pop-up window will ask if you’d like to sync all your Chrome data—including Chrome apps, bookmarks, themes, and other settings—with Google. I recommend you go ahead and click the “Sync everything” button, but you can also click the “Advanced settings” link to pick and choose which items you’d like to sync—and which you’d rather not.
- All set? Time to fire up Chrome on your Android phone. Once you do, you’ll be prompted to sign in with your Google account—and once that’s all set, your desktop Chrome browser and Chrome on your phone will be linked.
- Now, open a new browser tab on the desktop Chrome—say, the New York Times. Done? Then pull out your Android phone, open mobile Chrome, and tap the tab with the syncing arrows in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
- You should now see a list of “other devices,” such as the desktop version of Chrome, that are syncing with Chrome on your phone—and under the heading for your desktop PC, you should see a tab for the New York Times. Tap it, and voilà—you just loaded a browser tab from your desktop to Chrome on your Android phone.
Don’t see the browser tab button at the bottom of mobile Chrome screen? If not, you can tap the “New Tab” button to pull it up again, or tap the menu button (it looks like a column of three dots) and select “Other devices” from the drop-down menu.
Looking for more Android tips? Click here!