Google’s Chrome iOS security push, Apple Safari, iPhone and iPad app


Apple prides itself on the security and privacy features iPhone users enjoy. So would you switch from Safari to Chrome on iOS? Google thinks it can convince you to do just that.

Let’s face it, there really is no love lost between Apple and Google. This is hardly news, let alone surprising in any way, shape, or form. However, when Google comes out fighting with a statement that there’s ‘no place like Chrome’ for getting things done, and done securely, on your iPhone, my ears perk up a little.

This isn’t anything to do with the Chrome security update this week, that didn’t touch Android users after all, let alone iOS ones. So, what is Google on about? The first clue comes on the same Chrome releases blog where those security updates are announced. Alongside the pure security vulnerability patching stuff, Google also announces various feature Beta releases. On Thursday, June 23, it stated that the ‘Chrome Beta 104 for iOS update’ had been released and the same day, Nasim Sedaghat, a Google Chrome product manager, posted an official Chrome on iOS product update making that no place like Chrome claim. There’s some uncertainty currently if this will be in an update to Chrome 103 or the currently in Beta 104, but a Macworld article says the former and it will be available “in the coming days.”

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Google’s enhanced safe browsing comes to iOS

Two of the five features mentioned in this update for the Chrome web browser on the iPhone and iPad were security-specific and sat at the top of the list to emphasize, one assumes, the importance they hold. Firstly, stronger protection from both phishing and malware by way of bringing Google’s enhanced safe browsing function to iOS. “When you type your credentials into a website,” Sedaghat wrote, “Chrome can warn you if your username and password have been compromised in a third-party data breach.” It will then prompt you to change those credentials everywhere you use them, assuming you are ignoring the prudent security advice of not sharing passwords between sites and services. The second security-related feature also involves passwords, in the form of the Google Password Manager for iOS. This can be set up to securely store and autofill passwords for any site or app on your iPhone, he said.

Google has a mountain to climb to persuade iPhone users to switch to Chrome

To be honest, with Safari already pre-installed on my iPhone and working in conjunction with other iOS features to ensure my browsing isn’t being tracked and my privacy is protected, I’m not sure why I’d change to Chrome. With iOS 16 just around the corner and bringing Apple Passkeys to the party, plus a new feature to do away with CAPTCHA’s I think Google may have trouble persuading me, or most iPhone users, to jump ship.

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