The release of Chrome browser is seen by many as Google’s preliminary hit to Microsoft in the browsers battleground. Most of the hypes preceding Chrome’s release are met until the very day.
Currently, Google Chrome is available for Windows Vista and XP. In the future, Chrome will also be enjoyed by Mac and Linux fanatics.
Google’s user oriented typical is spread throughout every activity using Chrome, including the first time I installed it. Chrome detected the browsers I was using and asked me few related questions during the installation. Some information regarding how to download files within my other browsers was also presented. How impressive!
Immediately after you run Chrome for the first time, it will import your passwords, bookmarks and settings from your default browser (e.g. Firefox or Internet Explorer). It didn’t stop there, when you visit a site you regularly browse, Chrome will fill up the fields just like if you’re browsing with your old browser. In my opinion, Chrome has saved me a lot of time from re-setting things I usually do when I install new browsers.
Chrome is designed with simplicity in mind. I can see this from far less components and buttons to click. There is no title and menu bar where usually menus like “File | Edit | …” appear.
Tabs come first and then followed by a back and forward button, a refresh, home button and a bookmark button, the address bar (Google calls it Omnibar) and two more buttons contain view settings and browser settings. The third row contains my bookmarks (you can choose to have them always displayed or to display them only when you open a new tab).
Frankly, the first time I used Chrome, I was a little bit confused since I saw not as many menus I usually saw on other browsers. But it turns out that just those are all I need.
On start up after I use Chrome for the first time, I can choose to have Chrome open the homepage I can specify, pages that were open last or open any pages I would like.
When I open a new tab, I’m be presented thumbnail images of sites I visit the most, my recent bookmarks, and a history search field. You can also make shortcuts to the page you’re viewing and have them placed on your desktop, quick launch or start menu.
I said in the above that Google calls its Chrome address bar Omnibar. This is not without a reason. When I type a phrase like say “Ciao” in my other browser’s address bar, it’ll suggest pages based on my browsing history. The Omnibar does more than that. Instead of just results from my browsing history, Omnibar also allows me to search for the phrase AND related ones from other sites using Google search.
Talking about search engines, I’m offered more than one search engines as my preferred search service. There are nine search engines to be chosen as an alternative but you can add or remove them manually.
Another cool feature I found using Chrome is the Incognito mode. What is it? Google describe it this way:
For times when you want to browse in stealth mode, for example, to plan surprises like gifts or birthdays, Google Chrome offers the incognito browsing mode. Web pages you visited and files downloaded while you are incognito won’t be logged in your browsing and download histories; all new cookies are deleted after you close the incognito window.
In my own language, people won’t find out what sites you’ve visited. This is because Incognito doesn’t log your browsing activity and downloads. And also cookies are terminated when you close the incognito window.
Other features or tools that will be interesting for developers is the source code troubleshooter that usually available with an extension in Firefox.
The main difference between Chrome and other browsers and I guess the reason why Google is confident in launching Chrome is the tab isolation. When I browse using Firefox or Flock and one of the tabs crashes, it brings down the whole browser. Well, not with Chrome. If a tab is causing trouble and hangs permanently, you can terminate the tab without having to shutdown and restart Chrome. You can view how much each tab is consuming your PC’s resource from Chrome’s task manager and close the tab having a problem.
Chrome is developed to fulfill the requirements for advanced browsing without confusing low end users and I think Google has done it well once again!
What I like from Google’s Chrome:
- Efficient menu design
- Simple overall design
- Incognito window
- Separated tab processes
What I don’t like from Google’s Chrome:
- No title bar
- No “undo last closed tab”
- No back-forward button when opening a saved web app (but you can right click to do so)