Google has released a beta version of Chrome for Android that is available now in the Android Market. The app is initially being made available only for phones and tablets running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, according to a post on the Google Chrome blog.

Google Chrome for Android Beta, like Chrome 16 for computers that it is based on, is focused on speed and simplicity. It includes features like seamless sign-in, sync and a revised tab system that is said to work just as well on a small screen phone as it does on a larger tablet. Users can flip or swipe between an unlimited number of tabs.

There's also an incognito mode that allows for private browsing as well as several other privacy options. When searching, the top results are loaded in the background as you type so pages appear much faster. And just like on the desktop version, search and navigation can be performed from the Chrome omnibox (address bar).

CNET appears to have spent some time with the browser before launch as they note it includes the desktop version of V8 JavaScript engine and shuts out plug-ins including Adobe Flash Player and Google's Native Client.

Restricting the browser to ICS (and later revisions) was mostly a performance decision as it relies on newer hardware acceleration interfaces not found on previous versions of Android. The forward-looking browser also means that the development team doesn't have to worry about compatibility with aging software that predates 4.0.

If you have an ICS-enabled device and would like to try chrome, simply hit the Android Market and download the free app.