Over the last week I’ve been playing with Google’s web browser, Chrome. So far, I have been enjoying it. I had used it before, but I don’t think it was quite ready for me and I brushed it off as just another web browser. However, Google Chrome now has extensions (plugins for you FireFox users) and custom themes. Chrome is also really fast. I’m blown away at how fast it loads YouTube videos. Chrome is still in beta testing, but has already been creeping up in popularity; the new browser has beaten Apple’s Safari by 7% according to the W3 Schools Browser Statistics. Sure, it’s only at 10%, but that doesn’t mean anything bad. As I said, it’s still in Beta.
Does Google Chrome really have what it takes to be your browser of choice? Here what I think.
It’s like FireFox and Safari had a love child
Those of you who have used Safari and FireFox will feel confortable with Chrome. There may be a learning curve at first, but soon you’ll realize that the user experience is not that different that what you have grown used to. Like Safari, Google Chrome auto-fills the blanks when you’re typing in the address bar. Making it really easy to get where you’re going fast.
They’ve also merged the address and search bar. I thought this was weird at first, but I’ve grown to like it. This saves me the trouble of having to tab over to google something. It only saves me a fraction of a second, but that’s all it takes to make something feel more intuitive. Speaking of which, they’ve made it really easy to organize your tabs in Google Chrome. It’s a lot like Safari in that I can completely pull a tab out into it’s own window or merge two different windows into one. Something FireFox can’t do.
Extensions make this this browser fun. While it is still in it’s infancy, extensions really make a browser stand out. I believe that’s why FireFox is so successful. FireFox has a level of customization that is unmatched by any other browser. Google Chrome is going in that same direction. The Google Chrome community is growing; like FireFox, this browser will explode with customizable features that will give FireFox a run for it’s money.
Some Cool things
Ever close a tab on accident? Well Google Chrome has this feature that opens recently closed tabs – browsing history and all. This is easily done by pressing Command + Shift + T and voila! Sure, that’s not necessarily a new feature, but that doesn’t make it any less cool.
Also, if you use more than one computer a day you’ll be happy to know that you can synchronize your bookmarks and passwords either through Google or Xmarks. Really simple to set up and utterly convenient.
Nothing is immune to bugs when it comes to the web. Chrome is no exception. These things are bound to pop up. Every now and then something will happen where a page just won’t load. All I can do is refresh over and over again or close the application and start anew. Lame.
Also, the download bar won’t go away after I’m done downloading something. It’s really annoying and hate that it doesn’t auto hide. Fail.
Competition is a good thing
I’m a hands on kinda guy. I love trying things out myself. While Google Chrome hasn’t fully replaced FireFox on my mac, it’s only one extension away from doing so: FireBug. As a web developer Firebug is essential. However, if all I’m doing is surfing the web, I have no reason to stick to FireFox. Google Chrome gives me a better experience and a streamlined user interface.
Give Google Chrome a spin if you haven’t already and let the browser wars begin!