Google Chrome

This week Google’s new Chrome browser has been the talk of the town. Everywhere in the technology media, reviewers have been measuring it up and giving their two penneth (or should that be two penn’orth?).

So what the heck is all the fuss about?

Is it simply just another browser?

Well, at the moment, to be perfectly frank, I think it is but it is a Beta after all. On the other hand it does provide some nifty features that don’t come as standard in the other browsers but then again, other browsers support plug-ins, Chrome currently doesn’t.

In short what Chrome does, can be achieved with Firefox in some capacity albeit through the installation of add-ins. So for this reason alone I wouldn’t consider “trading” in Firefox or IE for Chrome, not at least for a little while, as its yet unclear what Chrome will be able to do in the longer term.

Ok so I am not entirely convinced and I will still continue using Firefox as my default browser but do I at least like chrome?

Yes I do, its got promise and in some departments it does deliver. Its very quick for starters, thanks to its lightweight design and optimised coding under the hood. Google have developed their own Javascript engine or to be precise they have borrowed it, as they ahve realied heavily on open source projects such as WebKit in the development process. This does mean that in this case they will be opening their doors to the global developer community. So it should be an interesting project in the long run as there may well be many collabrators working on its evolution.

Chrome makes good use of tabs which are presented slightly differently to its rivals and in a very clean and smooth fashion. They are all independent processes, if one crashes, it does so gracefully and the others continue unhindered. I like this idea because there is nothing worse than a browser crashing out and losing where you are within your other open tabs. The Tabs also behave quite differently in the way you can re-arrange them within the overall wndow. You can even drag a tab out of the window to form its own separate browser. Likewise multiple browser windows can be dragged into eachother to create one. This hasn’t been done before and is very handy.

Websites can be turned into single applications with their own shortcuts on the desktop, start menu or quick menu. I found this handy for Gmail, its quite nice to double click on it from the desktop rather than digging around for it.

Last but not least the OmniBar (or addressbar) is more than just an address bar. Navigation and search have been combined together (see my earlier post about this). Simply start typing a word and suggestions are displayed comprising of historic URLs, search suggestions.

In short I wouldn’t say it revolutionises anything but as a first (and indeed Beta) version of the product, it can’t really be faulted. Google have done a very good job of it but there is still more to come. I hope!

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