So, really, now that the hype is over, what is the browser of choice? Well, the out of the box answer for me is Firefox but let’s have a deeper look at the contest shall we?
What plays in favour of Google Chrome?
I for one really enjoyed the looks. It has a clean and sleek interface without your regular toolbar menus and without a caption bar. I find this amazing. It’s the first browser that was designed with true usability in mind regarding the menu paraphernalia. The guys at Google really are being serious about seeing websites as actual applications, and proof of that is the fact that you can create “application links”. This also plays in Chrome’s favour in my opinion. There are pages that I simply have open at all times and ones that I have to be able to access quickly; Google Chrome with this feature allows me to run GMail (or any other website) as a separate window, simply by leaving an icon on my desktop. This separate window is also special, it has kind of usability on steroids since it has no menu whatsoever. It does have a caption, which in this case is good because I might want to move the window around while not maximized.
Ok, now that we’re done talking about the user interface, we go on to the actual features. For starters, let’s face it: Google Chrome is fast. Actually, it feels faster than Firefox as far as browsing is concerned. How do they achieve it? I’m not exactly sure and if my suspicions are right, you can probably achieve the same effect with FasterFox or with a properly configured Opera, but I’m dealing with the facts here and that is that Chrome feels fast.
Here it is, the browser made by the guys at Google. First things first, and a thank you to Pedro Sousa is due for having brought this to my attention as I had no idea that Google was even working on their own browser.
To be honest, I have been trying Google Chrome for a few minutes now and I was very impressed. It looked like and improved Firefox but now I’ve just logged into my blog and the rust started to show. Basically, in the admin panel of wordpress, everything is out of place and a real mess. Who is to blame? I have no clue. But all of this worked on Firefox…
I think that the major advantage I have found so far is the fact that each tab runs on a different process, which is the way things should be. That way, when one page crashes, it isn’t your whole browser that goes down but just that very page. In a time where web exploits are at their peak, this is very important. Also kudos to the fact that you can easily detach tabs from a window into a separate window, and then add tabs to that window that you just created. It really is THAT easy!
The major disadvantage, is the fact that you can’t switch dictionaries quickly and conveniently from the context menu inside a “textarea” which you can do on Firefox. For someone who has to alternate between Portuguese and English dictionaries, this is a major turn-down. Specially because it seems that you even have to restart the browser for the changes to take effect. Bad, bad Google. What were you thinking?!
Other than this I have also loved the seamless integration with Windows Vista. Chrome just integrates much better on Vista’s look than Firefox does. Firefox barely supports transparency, whereas Chrome allows for transparency, even on the zone where the tabs reside.
In a nutshell, it’s still a beta version, and that does show. Try it at your own peril, but try it nonetheless. I think you will be impressed.