Google Chrome

Google’s new Chrome Web Browswer has been all over the news today.  See this general one here.  Or this one mentioning how it’s supposed to be a Microsoft killer.   This one talks about how blazingly fast it is.  (I agree!)  And, finally, this one talking about how Google is becoming more evil with the release of this web browser.   I decided to take it for a spin and cut through the hype.

On first startup, I thought – hmm this browser looks a bit bubbly.  Reminds me a bit of MSN Browser in the late 90s.  Then I suddenly noticed something – no top bar on the browser!  Where’s the File, Edit, Tools, menu so common to Windows programs?  Even the tabs are right up in the titlebar window.  But you know what?  I like it – more room for viewing my websites.  Tabs load up ridiculously fast.  And the little things are so nice – like how there are animations when you create the tabs.  They slide out from the left.  Or when you close a tab, all the ones to the right of it slide over to the left.  It’s pointless eye candy, but I love it!  It really adds to the experience.

The search bar appears at the top.  Also, when you’re typing websites into your bar, all kinds of suggestions pop up that have nothing to do with websites you’ve been to before.  Like for, when I hit “s” – was one of the choices even though I’ve never been there.  I can see Google using this as a way to make money.

Your most viewed sites are there for you to click on whenever you open a new tab.  Very convinient.  But it reminds me a lot of Opera’s speed dial.  (Except that it’s automatically filled out)  Check out this shot from my Opera review.

And compare Google’s recently closed tabs to Opera’s trashed tabs:

I wonder how it feels to be Opera.  They are always coming out with the latest and greatest in web browser paradigms, but no one uses them.  I guess it’s their penalty for charging for their browser back in the day and then displaying ads.  Otherwise, they could be eating Microsoft’s lunch now instead of Firefox.  Firefox took tabs from Opera (the first MAJOR browser to implement it).  Now Google’s Chrome takes Opera’s speed dial and recently closed tabs – two of their best features.  (The latter is rumored to be in IE 8)

Although most pages loaded a LOT faster than in Flock or Firefox, flickr wasn’t THAT much faster at all.  And they were touting their awesome Javascript interpreter.  I wasn’t as impressed as I’d hoped to be.  That could have cinched the deal for me.  In fact, it seems to be, more or less, comparable to Opera in terms of rendering speed.

Overall, I am really happy with how fast and responsive Chrome is.  I think I’ll use it for a couple of days like I did with Opera, Flock, and other browsers I try out.  If it turns out to be fast enough, it could end up being my new default browser.

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