Google Chrome : First Impressions
Yesterday, the whole web world was buzzing with the launch of Google browser Chrome. I to played with it for a few hours and I have to say that it is here to stay and provide some tough competition to Firefox as well. You can download Chrome from the Google site. The installation will take around 2-3 minutes and then you will be all set to go.
On starting it for the first time, it asked me to close the Firefox window so that it can imports bookmarks and passwords from it. I close Firefox and the transfer took place in a second. On starting it for the first time, you will notice that it has a familiar Google look to it, light blue and white colors, very few buttons etc. The first window is similar to the speed dial feature in Opera. It will show you the thumbnails of your recently opened sites along with your search history and recently added bookmarks. Clicking on any thumbnail will take you to the site.
One thing you will quickly notice about Chrome is its speed. The browser is just super responsive, the auto-complete feature in address bar is also fast, tabs open very fast and even Websites open a bit faster in it. The arrangement of tabs, which is placed on top may seem a bit strange at first but you will get used to it soon. The address bar is just superb. Just type a letter and it will offer you suggestions immediately. This is similar to the Awesome Bar which you see in Firefox. Also, you will notice that there is no search bar in Chrome, the search is also handled by the Address Bar. Just press Ctrl + K, in Firefox it highlighted the search bar, but in Chrome, it will display a ‘?’ in your address bar indicating that search can be performed from there.
There is a ‘Create application shortcut’ feature which creates a shortcut of any Website on your desktop. You can then launch it quickly similar to an application. There is also an ‘incognito’ mode which is similar to the privacy mode in IE8. If you work in the incognito mode, no trace of your work will be left after you have closed your session. In Chrome, all the tabs which you open are treated as a separate process, so you can kill one tab without affecting the whole browser. Because of this, if something hangs in one tab, whole browser or rest of the tabs will remain fine. It memory consumption is lesser than that of Firefox with the same number of tabs, although in one case, I noted that it was higher. It even has problems with certain sites. For example, Facebook didn’t work well in Chrome, when I clicked on “Become a Fan” link, the page refreshed but nothing happened.
For its first release, Chrome is very stable, it didn’t crash even once and I have tried it many times now. I am not planning to make it my default browser now, will do so once, Google releases some plugins and toolbars for it. Other than that, it is a great browser which you should try. At present, it is available for Windows only so Linux and Mac users will have to wait.