Google launched their first public version of open source browser named Chrome. As of now available only for Windows, this browser will most probably eat into Microsoft’s Internet Explorer’s market share. Well this is good news for web developer guys as IE always made it hard to develop standard compliant websites.
Anyway here is our take on chrome…
- Speed: As expected, Gmail, Google Reader and many Google services performed better in Chrome browser. If you use Google services heavily, you may consider switching to Chrome. Apart from that I haven’t felt much difference compared to Firefox. Anyway if you like to go by stats, here is speed test comparison for Chrome, Firefox & IE 8 beta by Kevin Purdy at Life Hacker.
- Crash Control: Every tab you use is run independently in Google Chrome, so if one tab crashes, it won’t take the tab with your inbox down with it. This is something I really loved it. In Firefox, it happens many time that some a badly coded website crashed entire browser.
- Incognito browsing: This is a browsing mode in Chrome which when enabled, stop recording your surfing history. You can use this mode for visiting porn sites from your dads laptop without ever getting caught! Firefox people can enjoy this feature via Stealther extension.
- Task Manager for Tabs: Pressing Shift+Esc keys instantly open the task manager for tabs. You can find out which tab (aka site) is slowing your browser and kill it. This is possible in Chrome because of crash control feature mentioned above.
- Domain-Highlighting: This feature highlight root domain of a website in address bar. This way one can have quick look at which site they are actually visiting. This is nice approach to prevent phishing. Again firefox users can have this feature using Locationbar2 extension.
There are plenty of features in Chrome which makes it quite attractive. Amit Agarwal posted Chrome features that are missing in other browsers , while Adam Pash posted how to enable Chrome’s best features in Firefox.
One question still remain unanswered. Why did Google need to create a web browser when something great like Firefox already exist. Below is quote from a page on Chrome site.
Since we spend so much time online, we began seriously thinking about what kind of browser could exist if you started from scratch and built on the best elements out there. We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that’s what we set out to build.
Here is video story behind Google Chrome…
Overall, Chrome seems great in features although user interface is not quite appealing. And most of “new” features chrome is marketing on are already available for Firefox via its thousands of plugins. It would be great if Google Chrome somehow manage to support Firefox plugins. They will surely provide support for plugins soon. Atleast support for Google Toolbar is expected soon. Also Chrome versions for Mac and Linux are underdevelopment.