We already knew this was on the way, but now it’s finally here: Google has released a beta version of Chrome for Android, available for download now from the Play Store on all devices running Android 4.0 and higher. If you remember, Chrome for Android was originally released as a beta app almost a year ago last February, and it was eventually upgraded to “stable” status. However, Google has hinted that it intends to align all of its various Chrome releases across different platforms, so the re-introduction of Chrome Beta for Android only makes sense.

This is also really exciting news for people like me who always love to run the latest and greatest software on all their devices – that’s one of the reasons why I ended up getting an ASUS Nexus 7 tablet, and the main reason why I switched to the developer channel on my Samsung Chromebook. That’s also why I’ve already downloaded Chrome Beta for Android, and why it’s already my default browser.

Initial impressions of the new beta are fantastic: I’ve noticed lots of speed improvements already, and I’m not the only one. Here are some of the first comments in the Play Store:

Looks much like the existing Chrome app, but runs much smoother on my Nexus 4

Love the speed increase.

Better, smoother and more awesome than current version of Chrome!

I used it for a couple of minutes and it is way better than the other chrome in the Play Market. It is fast and runs smoothly. Haven’t seen any bugs yet, but it seems to be promising. I hope it keeps being like that.

Of course, whenever you use anything that’s a beta, you run the risk of running into some bugs. Google simply says that the app can be a little “rough around the edges,” but so far, everything seems stable on my end.

Because of its beta status (and to keep “noobs” from complaining too much, I’m sure), Google has hidden Chrome Beta from Play Store searches. In other words, you have to obtain the direct link in order to download it. So … here it is.

Download: Google Play

[Google]