iPad web browser

Ever since Google Chrome was released for iPad and iPhone users have asked Apple for one simple thing: the ability to make Chrome their default browser.

And Apple has (finally) listened.

iOS 14 for iPhone and iPad now offers an option to set Chrome as the default browser on these devices.

iOS 14 lets you make Chrome the default browser on your devices

Not just Chrome, either. You can make any web browser your default in iOS 14. Google Chrome is the most popular third-party web browser in the Apple ecosystem system however, so this news will please many.

Google Chrome’s iOS incarnation is a little different to the versions readily available on Android and desktop operating systems in that it uses the same “browser engine” as Safari (i.e. not the Blink engine used elsewhere).

Instead of all web links tapped in apps opening in Safari they will open a new tab in the Google Chrome for iOS app instead.

Making Chrome Your Default Browser in iOS 14

A screenshot of iPadOS 14 settings screen
Find Chrome, then make it default browser app

Before you can make Chrome your preferred web browser app on your iPhone or iPad you need to double-check you have it installed. If you don’t, you can install Chrome for iPhone or iPad from the App Store where the app is available to download for free:

Get Google Chrome on the App Store

Once the app is installed you need to go to:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Find and select Chrome in the long list of installed apps
  3. Tap the ‘Default Browser App’ setting
  4. Choose Chrome from the available options

That’s it; the change take effects instantly. When you next tap a link in WhatsApp, Messages, or virtually any other app it will open the page in Chrome.

You can change other defaults too

As well as being able to set Chrome as the default browser in iOS 14 you can also make a third-party email app (like Gmail) the default mail handler too.

Combined with the option to pick your own default browser this is a huge boon for those who like Apple products but prefer using non-Apple services and tools.

Admittedly as a (predominately) Android user I find it somewhat remarkable that it has taken this long for Apple to loosen its grip on core areas of its own system. But belated or not I’m pleased that it’s finally happened.

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