Earlier this week, we covered Chrome 103, and all the new features Google added to the latest version of its desktop web browser. As it turns out, the company also updated its iOS Chrome app to version 103. However, this isn’t a copy-paste scenario: Chrome 103 for iPhone introduces some unique new features to the platform that are worth your time to check out.
If you peruse the App Store on your iPhone, you’ll find plenty of web browser options other than Safari. If you prefer using Chrome, it’s available to download, but not in the same way as it is on Mac: Apple forces all third-party browsers on iOS to use WebKit, the same browser engine Safari is built on. As such, Chrome on iOS is really a Google-fied version of Safari. Still, developers like Google can add fun features for browsers like Chrome that you won’t find in iOS’ default option, such as the following options new to Chrome 103.
New Chrome 103 features for iPhone
One impressive update is to Chrome’s “language identification mode:” This feature uses machine learning to analyse a website and not only determine what language it uses, but to also figure out whether you need it to be translated into a language you understand. This machine learning happens on-device, meaning none of the translation happens on Google or third-party servers. This method of machine learning is much more secure, allowing you to translate articles on the web with more privacy and security.
The three-dot menu in the corner of your screen has a new look: You’ll see colourful options like Passwords, Downloads, Recent Tabs, and Settings readily available here. You’ll find other options like Reload, New Tab, and New Incognito Tab in a partially expanded menu, and expanding the window reveals others like Bookmark, Add to Reading List, and Find in Page.
Chrome will let you set camera and microphone permissions for certain websites, not just Chrome itself. That’ll let you enable your camera and microphone for trusted sites, while blocking these tools from others. In addition, duplicate New Tab pages will be removed automatically, and you can now add iCal files to your Calendar in Chrome.
You can also expect the introduction of Enhanced Safe Browsing on iOS, as well: This addition communicates with Google Safe Browsing, sharing any suspicious URLs and downloads you come across while browsing. However, this setting isn’t available to all users yet: You’ll find it in Settings > Google Services when you do. You should also see “Recent tabs” appear as an option when updating, something also making its way to Android.
Of course, as with many app updates, Chrome 103 includes stability and performance improvements, too.
How to update to Chrome 103 on iPhone
You can update your Chrome app on iPhone to version 103 the same way you update an app on iOS: Go to the App Store, tap your profile icon in the top right, then pull down the page to refresh and check for updates. If you see Chrome here, tap “Update.” If you see Chrome, but the button next to it says “Open,” your app is already updated.