Yesterday we told you that Google had announced Google Chrome for iOS during their second Google I/O 2012 keynote. Many iPhone users – myself included – have been wanting an iOS version of Chrome since Google unveiled the Android version earlier this year. Fortunately, it is exactly as awesome as we had hoped it would be. Unfortunately, it suffers from the same problem that plagues every other third party browser in the App Store: Apple doesn’t allow iOS’s default browser to be changed. So as awesome as any browser is, you’re stuck still using Safari for a lot of things: links in emails, apps, text messages, and such will all still open in Safari.
Unless you jailbreak your phone, that is. Scarcely had the dust settled from Google’s launch of Chrome for iOS when a new jailbreak tweak hit the Cydia store. BrowserChooser was created by Ryan Petrich, and has one simple purpose: to change your iPhone or iPad’s default browser. And, like many single-purpose apps, it does it very well. Using the tweak is ridiculously easy: once you install it, you simply go into the Settings app and find BrowserChooser, which will be on the first page along with your other jailbreak app and tweak settings. When you tap it, you’re taken to a list of all the supported browsers you have on your iOS device. I only have Chrome and Safari, but the tweak also supports Opera Mini, iCab Mobile, Dolphine Browser, and Atomic Browser (sorry, Yahoo Axis). All you have to do is tap “Google Chrome” on the list, and you’re done.
There is one notable thing that BrowserChooser doesn’t do: it doesn’t change “Open In Safari” menu buttons. So if, say, you’re browsing reddit in Alien Blue and want to open a link in Chrome, you still have to tap “Open in Safari.” You’re just taken to Google Chrome instead.
The only catch is that BrowserChooser isn’t in any of the default Cydia repositories. You have to add Petrich’s repository manually. That’s pretty simple, though. In Cydia, tap the “Manage” tab at the bottom of your screen, the “Sources” button. From there tap “Edit” in the top right corner, then “Add” in the top right. Then just put in the address for Petrich’s repo – rpetri.ch/repo – and you’re done. Cydia will refresh, then you search for BrowserChooser, and install it (it’s free, by the way).
Of course, BrowserChooser isn’t the only jailbreak tweak that lets you change your default browser. Browser Changer has been around for quite some time, and supports a whole lot more browsers. Chrome, however, is not one of them, though that will probably change in the not-so-distant future. So if you’ve already got Browser Changer and love it, then you might as well stick with it for however long it takes for the developer to get Chrome support added. If, on the other hand, you want Chrome as your default browser now, then check out BrowserChooser.