By now you’re probably familiar with Chrome to Phone, Google’s link-forwarding Chrome extension and Android app that debuted with Android 2.2 Froyo. While it’s great for getting a page to your phone quickly, it’s also somewhat limited, especially if you use more than one Android device – it’ll send the link to every phone and tablet on which you’ve installed the app. Along with the Chrome for Android beta, Google has added a totally new extension to the desktop version of the browser, called Chrome to Mobile Beta.
The biggest change in the new extension is the ability to send links to devices selectively: you can finally pick which Android phone or tablet you need to send the link to. (This seems tailor-made for jaded mobile reviewers who are logged in to a couple of dozen devices at a time – thanks, Google!) You can still use the service to send phone numbers or texts, but wait, there’s more: now the Chrome to Mobile function can also send an offline version of the page directly to your Android device, making it accessible later when you don’t have a connection, such as on a plane or in the subway.
Unfortunately the service isn’t interchangeable with the old Chrome to Phone app, just the new Chrome browser. That means that this new toy is just for Ice Cream Sandwich users for the time being. On the plus side, once the link is sent you can open it in any Android browser – good news for those who aren’t impressed with Chrome Beta’s somewhat lacking initial feature set. Once the connection is set up, you don’t need the old Chrome to Phone on either your desktop or mobile device, so feel free to uninstall them both.