Chrome for Android gets new features, languages

However, the Google browser for Android 4.0 devices remains in beta

The Android OS version of Google's Chrome browser is now available in a host of new languages and has gained several new features, but it remains in beta testing and is afflicted with a variety of bugs.

First released in February for tablets and phones that run the 4.0 version of Android, also called Ice Cream Sandwich, Chrome for Android now has its user interface in 31 additional languages and is available in all countries with access to Google Play, which was previously known as the Android Market.

New features include the ability to switch from the mobile to the desktop version of a website and to place bookmarks in the home screen in the form of shortcuts, the company said on Tuesday in a blog post.

In addition, users can now assign applications of their own choosing for launching links opened in Chrome, as well as use the browser with a Wi-Fi network that has a proxy setup.

Also new is the ability to download files to the device and to play "old style" embedded YouTube content via the native YouTube application, Google said in a related but separate post.

As a beta product, Chrome for Android has a number of known bugs, which currently include problems with font sizes, search result languages, website renderings, webpage loading and third-party application interaction, according to the Known Issues page Google maintains for this version of the browser.

People can report bugs they encounter by filling out this form.

This latest upgrade of Chrome for Android puts the application in version 0.18.4409.2396.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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