One week of Chrome

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.

Nifty interface

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).

Minor gripes

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…

12 Comments

  1. I’m really enjoying using Chrome at work, but I have some issues with it at home. I have multiple email addresses, all hosted through Gmail or Gmail For Your Domain, and Chrome doesn’t handle multiple Google accounts very smartly. I’ve encountered some CSS errors as well, including some of my customizations on my Tranquility themed blog. Also, the lack of an ad blocker is cripplingly obnoxious so I can’t deal with that at home.

    Otherwise I am extremely impressed at this first beta release. It’s a great browser that will only get better. Like you I was especially impressed by the Firefox import – it even got my 3 dozen custom quick searches and they work just as well as they did in Firefox (and look even better since they show the name of the service I am searching).

    I got worried when I heard that Chrome would be using Apple Webkit since I hate Safari’s rendering – all the fonts are 3 times as bold as they are on every other browser. Google tuned this very well, luckily.

    IE 8 and FF 3.1 will be out soon as well! In browser wars everybody wins!

    Comment by Brian — September 12, 2008 @ 5:13 pm

  2. @Roy: I didn’t know that Chrome lets us drag files to upload fields. Thanks for that.

    Regarding your major issue, check this out: http://maketecheasier.com/how-to-run-google-chrome-in-ubuntu/2008/09/12

    @Brian: You can log into another Gmail account in incognito mode. For a temporary ad blocking solution, take a look at http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=50&topicid=25916

    Both the above links are taken from http://www.gchromewiki.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

    Comment by Sridhar — September 13, 2008 @ 5:34 am

  3. I am eagerly awaiting the Mac version. I have not been able to succesfully install the Windows version under Windows VMWare… the ChromeSetup.exe does nothing whatsoever :-(

    Comment by suzero — September 13, 2008 @ 1:00 pm

  4. I could install the Windows version through WINE, but much like using VMWare I guess it kind of defeats the purpose. It will probably be nowhere near as speedy as a native version would be.

    Comment by Roy — September 13, 2008 @ 1:28 pm

  5. Apparently Chrome is really fast on VMWare… but I can’t find out coz I can’t install :-(

    Comment by suzero — September 13, 2008 @ 8:25 pm

  6. Maybe you never used Opera. ;P

    Comment by Giovanni — September 14, 2008 @ 6:14 pm

  7. ps. my congrats for your 3D tag cloud: I’d like to add it to a drupal-based website: there’s a way to “send” the terms and the links to the swf movie?

    Comment by Giovanni — September 14, 2008 @ 6:23 pm

  8. I’ve just read the readme.txt and found your “how-to-repurpose-my-tag-cloud-flash-movie” article. Thank you the same.

    Ciao, Giovanni

    Comment by Giovanni — September 14, 2008 @ 6:27 pm

  9. Google is The Stasi “german special force, since date of World War 2″

    Comment by t3k03 — September 17, 2008 @ 10:27 am

  10. Chrome fast ? lol … for me is not so fast. Very hungry with my hard drive, to many cache! memory useed is very low … i have 2 Gb RAM, and les than 50% used (win XP pro)… So whay chrome “stressing” my hdd !? ;)

    Comment by ByREV — September 18, 2008 @ 4:36 am

  11. My only issue until recently is a scroll up problem on synaptic touchpads. There’s been a recent fix for the laptop scroll issue so I’m nearly converted 99% away from IE.

    Comment by chi - Chrome Browser — September 22, 2008 @ 9:35 pm

  12. Link: Chrome out of beta | Roy Tanck's weblog