So it finally happened – Google has announced that they are no longer going to release updates to the Chrome browser for Android Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0). The Chrome browser version 42.0 shall be the final version available to all the Android Ice Cream Sandwich users. The reasons given on the Chromium blog include the diminishing number of Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) devices and that it requires extra effort and time to build and test the Chrome browser specifically for Android ICS. While this all looks fair, it leaves the small number of ICS users in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately, Chrome is not the only web browser available for Android. There are many other web browsers that will keep releasing updated versions for Android Ice Cream Sandwich in the near future.
Here is a list of a few mainstream web browsers that will continue to work on the Android Ice Cream Sandwich devices:
1. Opera for Android: Opera is based on Chrome’s base source code and works as efficiently in Android as any other web browser. It has a very nice feature called Off Road mode which compresses downloaded data through Opera’s servers – reducing the download bandwidth, saving you money on expensive data connections and making web pages a tad faster. Opera also offers Opera Mini which uses minimal system resources and is ideal for older, slower phones. It can be installed on Android 4.0 ICS and above. You can download Opera browser from http://www.opera.com/ or from Google Playstore.
2. Firefox for Android: If there is one web browser that is giving strong competition to Google Chrome, it is Mozilla Firefox. Known for security and stability, Firefox can become an excellent alternative for Chrome for the Android ICS users. If you use Firefox on your PC as well, then you can synchronize the Firefox settings across PC and Android without much efforts. Mozilla offers both the Firefox and Firefox Beta through the Google Playstore. It can be installed on Android 2.3 Gingerbread and above. You can download Firefox browser from http://www.getfirefox.com/ or from Google Playstore.
3. UC Web browser for Android: If you fail to install any other browser in your old Android smart phone, then you can always install the feature rich UC Web browser. This browser is lightweight, offers a multitude of options and integrates well in the Android OS. The only downside is that this browser comes with a lot of spammy looking bookmarks and add-ons. Nevertheless UC Web Browser can be installed on Android 2.2 Froyo and above. You can download UC Web browser from http://www.ucweb.com/ or from Google Playstore.
Conclusion: While Google Chrome is going to stop supporting the Android ICS devices in the near future, you can still manage to survive by switching to other web browsers like Firefox, Opera and UC Web available through the Google Playstore.