I’ve been using Google’s new browser for little over a week now. I need to have Firefox and IE running when I’m doing web design stuff, but for actually browsing the web, I’ve been using Chrome. And you know what? I just made it my default browser.
Easiest transition ever
I was thoroughly impressed with the installer. All my settings, history and even my saved passwords were imported, and I really was ready to go within a few minutes. With my bookmarks toolbar set up just like in Firefox, I felt right at home. What a way to make a good first impression.
It’s really really fast
I’ve never seen any browser on any platform that renders pages this quickly. Of course your browser will not make downloading large files any speedier, but once a page has been downloaded the so-called renderer has to put it on your screen, scrutinizing every detail in the page’s code an putting it all into pixels. In Chrome, even very complex layouts are shown almost instantly.
Very few glitches
In fact, Chrome failed om me only once. Any tab I would try and load Gmail(!) into would close. The browser itself would keep running, as promised, but the problem did persist. I needed to restart the browser before I could access my email. But a single issue in over a week is not bad, and definitely better than some non-beta browsers.
Being able to drag and drop tabs anywhere is a really cool feature. I have two monitors, so I can have two windows open and drag tabs from left to right and vice versa. I also love being able to drag files to upload fields (which Firefox can do through an extension).
I haven’t found a way of changing default players for content types yet, but I’m sure there’s a way to make sure QuickTime does not play my mpegs any more. I also can’t quite figure out why the home button is disabled by default, especially since for many Google users it will lead to iGoogle. So far, the only extension I’ve really missed is a (Google) Pagerank viewer. I don’t use the RSS readers in other browsers, so I don’t mind that Chrome doesn’t have one. Oh, and has anyone found a way to have mailto links open a Gmail compose window?
One major issue
Where’s the Linux version? On my netbook pc, Firefox can be quite sluggish from time to time, so it could really do with a dose of Chrome’s speed. I know Matt Cutts uses Ubuntu, so it shouldn’t take long…
My personal prediction is that Chrome will have 20% or more market share in two years. It’s good enough to compete with anything out there, and with Google’s marketing muscle behind it I don’t see why it wouldn’t. I do hope that Chrome’s user base will not for the most part consist of former Firefox users like me. Internet Explorer users should give Chrome a try. It’s easy to use, fast and stable. Now let’s see if I can get my dad to switch…