Chrome, Yo


I spent a bit of time last night playing around with Chrome, the new browser from Google. The interface is nice and clean — a bit too clean, for those of us used to having everything laid out in a series of menu bars. The most obvious change is that the address bar and search bar are the same thing: just start typing and it gives you suggestions for both urls and search terms. It seems to have streamlined a few tasks — downloading is a bit easier, as is bookmarking pages. But it does not appear to support RSS feeds yet, which is a pain. 

The major structural innovation is that each tab runs as its own process. Google is billing it as a an anti-crash device, but I think it goes further. Since you can drag each tab away from the browser and have it running as a separate process, eventually (I suspect) google expects that we will be running very rich apps in separate tabs which can be kept open, minimized, etc. on your desktop, even when not online. That is to say, they are setting the stage for the browser becoming the operating system. 

Meanwhile, I’ll still be using firefox, if only because of RSS. 

Anyone else gone Chrome?

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Chrome, Yo

  1. I could tell you went chrome a long time ago.

  2. Unusable until it supports SSL.

  3. I really *want* to love Chrome, being a Googlephile in every other way, but I’m not sure if I can handle browsing without those eight zillion add-ons (okay, 73 – don’t judge me) that have made Firefox my browser of choice til now. I do have it set up to handle my various google apps – gmail, reader, calender, etc – but I don’t see myself switching over completely until I can block ads, scrapbook pages, organize my tabs, add custom toolbars, and all that stuff — and without a Googlebar, it’s just. not. on.

  4. I gave it a go last night and it still seems a bit buggy (Well it is beta after all)

    I’m going to hold off jumping on the band wagon till I see the final build, also I’m interested in seeing what plug ins are developed for it.
    Firefox still holds a place in my heart as browser of choice.

    For those of you feeling really nerdy, check out
    http://labs.mozilla.com/2008/08/introducing-ubiquity/ a really slick plugin for firefox.

  5. Andrew,

    The lack of RSS, I believe, is because Google expects/wants you to use Google Reader for that function.

    In the Chrome Comic, I believe they stated that one of the driving principles behind the project was the elimination of duplicated functions.

  6. I have not had a chance to test Chrome yet, but it sound like it is built on the same engine that runs Safari. Both Safari and Firefox do a great job of handling RSS (IMHO) and will probably stay with them.

  7. Not yet. I’ve learned my early-adopter lessons over the years.FF does everything I need so far.
    And I use Opera as a back-up. Excellent browser.
    Popular in Europe but limited exposure in North America.

  8. We’re reversed. I use Opera as primary, and FF or IE as backup.

    I’ve found I like having my email integrated with my browser, and while the system Opera uses is a big different from standard mail programs, I’ve found it indispensible when I’m tracking multiple groups working on multiple projects.

  9. If you use more than one browser you might prefer Google Reader over Firefox’s RSS reader. It does a better job of keeping your feeds updated and it’s easier to skim a lot of them. A lot of blogs have full feeds so you often don’t need to visit the website unless you want to comment.

    I might give Chrome a try but I’ve already got three browsers on my Windows machine, two on my Mac and one on my iPod. I wonder why I need this. I’m usually the early adopter but it looks like I am falling behind the MSM :)

  10. I should note that Chrome’s “Incognito mode” is kind of similar to the “Privacy mode” that Microsoft is planning on rolling out.

    Chrome isn’t Google’s attempt to protect their ad revenue dollars as you surmised, this is about creating a browser to compete with Internet Explorer. More specifically, creating a browser that can run Google’s web applications orders of magnitude faster than Internet Explorer.

    Doing so allows Google to create web applications that run at speeds comparable to desktop applications, like Microsoft Word.

  11. Yup, using Chrome now and so far so good. Haven’t really exercised it – just a few tabs at a time – but the ergonomics are pretty good.

    Aw heck, I’m only here because I’m so excited to see an Andrew Potter post where the comments aren’t closed.

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