Google Chrome Initial Thoughts – WOW

Google Chrome

When I woke up today and combed through my morning email I was shocked to see that yesterday Google announced that they would be releasing a browser today.  Usually these things leak out sooner, but I hadn’t heard anything other than the same type of vague rumors that you hear about a gPhone or gOS.

Google Chrome, as it’s called, was released today at noon and can be downloaded for XP/Vista (Linux and Mac soon to follow).  After reading the comic and watching the video, I was excited to download it and take it for a spin. While all of the features sounded nice, I didn’t know what to expect.  Just because they say that they “started a browser from scratch” and that it’s designed for “today’s web applications and not the web pages of 1998” doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s any better than IE7, Firefox 3, Safari, Opera, etc.

After playing with it for 10 minutes I feel confident in saying:  it is better than all of them.  Noticably better.  It is now my default browser.

Here are my thoughts:

  • It is sooooooo much faster than other browsers that it isn’t funny.  Google spent a lot of time highlighting the new javascript rendering and crash control, and for good reason. Pages load a lot faster than in FF3 or IE7, and the “crash control” isolates each tab so if one crashes your entire browser session doesn’t.  They even have a task manager where you can see which tabs are using the most resources, very similar to the Windows task manager.  I tried apps like Gmail and Google Reader and they absolutely flew relative to the other browsers I had open.
  • New tabs aren’t blank.  Instead they show thumbnails of your most visited sites, a list of your most recent bookmarks, a search box to search bookmarks, and a list of your most recent searches.
  • Gone is the search box in the upper right.  Everything is in one bar – your history, your searching, and your web addresses.  The first drop down for anything you type is “search on Google”.  Subtle yet awesome.
  • Less clutter – I’d say I have an extra 5% viewing space than I do in FF3.  Despite that, it’s still super simple to find everything.  Nothing I can think of that other browsers have is inherintly missing.  It just works.
  • It appears to render exactly like Firefox, which is what I figured it would do (since portions are modeled on Mozilla’s engine).  This is good news for developers.
  • Speaking of which, the developer tools are solid.  I still prefer Firebug in Firefox, but that might be just because it’s what I know and am familiar with.  The javascript debugging appears to be better than other tools I’ve used, although I don’t do a ton of JS debugging right now.
  • Did I mention it’s REALLY FAST?

Download it and see for yourself.  It installs in seconds and imports everything from Firefox or IE so you can pick up right where you left off.

I have yet to really consider how much of a mainstream impact this could have and how it could change the future of the web.  For the time being I’m just enjoying a new browsing experience (I’m typing this post in it right now).  In the past I’ve been critical of all of the half-assed crap that Google releases and slaps “beta” on, but this is different.  It is very refined.  Microsoft should definitely be worried.  Google is creeping more and more into our everyday lives where Microsoft used to be.  Can’t wait to see how this unfolds.

P.S. The spacing on this post was messed up when I first hit submit. Guess it isn’t perfect yet.

P.S.S. I had some trouble in phpMyAdmin (which is how we access our MySQL databases).  Chrome wasn’t executing queries.  It’s no longer my default browser.  That lasted all of 30 minutes.  Oh well, I still stand by everything I said above.  For most browsing it is still fantastic.  I’m sure they’ll work out the minor kinks soon.

1 comment on Google Chrome Initial Thoughts – WOW

  1. media boy says:

    i’m willing to try it out just to see if it works more efficiently than FireFox… if it’s faster than Firefox, has tabs and isn’t IE, then it should be perfect

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