At long last, Google has updated Chrome for iOS with support for the mobile operating system’s standard swipe-based navigation scheme.
Push the buttons
On the built-in Safari Web browser on iOS, you can easily go back to the previous webpage by swiping right from the left edge of the screen and forward to the next webpage by swiping left from the right edge of the screen. These afford more convenient and intuitive ways of navigating than tapping the back and forward buttons, particularly in the case of the back navigation gesture, which has been used systemwide since iOS 7.
For some reason, though, Google had been adamant in not supporting the aforementioned navigation gestures in Chrome, with the app designed to switch tabs when the swipe-based gestures are performed and require the use of the back and forward buttons instead for basic navigation. That is, until now.
Swipe to navigate
Thanks to its latest update, Chrome for iOS has done away with one of my annoyances with the app as it now lets you swipe to go back or forward while browsing webpages. But unlike Safari, which simply superimposes the target webpage, Chrome employs animated effects reminiscent of those of the app’s gesture-based feature for easily refreshing, opening and closing tabs.
Introduced in April for iPhone and iPod touch, the gesture-based feature in question lets you pull down to refresh the current tab, pull down and swipe right to close the tab, or pull down and swipe left to open a new tab.
Note that you can still switch tabs by swiping: Just be sure to swipe at the top bar to do so.
Tap to download
The latest update to Chrome also includes stability improvements and bug fixes.
Google’s adoption of swipe-based navigation in Chrome for iOS comes shortly after the better-late-than-never adoption of another standard iOS feature by another tech giant: Just last week, Twitter updated its official iOS app so as to finally support the native sharing sheet on iOS.