Beginner Builder series 75% done! will probably never be finished. :(

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Google Chrome: From the people who brought you the best thing ever.

A few years ago, if I would have said that Google made a web browser, people would say "Yeah, in your dreams!" If you would have asked people who could give Mozilla a run for their money in the department of web browsers, Google would have come up pretty quick. Well, here we are.

Google Chrome is a web browser, but not just any web browser. Of course, it's tabbed (nothing can be considered a browser anymore if it isn't), but there's a few other nice things.

-Nice interface: Very, very different. No menu bars, very strange tab interface, but overall, very warmy and nice. Different, but nice.

-Lite: Compared to Firefox taking up usually 80+mb of RAM, Chrome is a welcome break, using usually around 30. Probably not the lightest, but still good. However....

-Different processes: This is new. With Chrome, every single tab has it's own process. This is supposed to reduce the entire thing from crashing. But to be honest, when one tab gets overloaded for me usually the whole thing is inopperable. Still, I like the fact that Google is thinking out of the box. They even include their own task manager to deal with each tab.

-Fast: Main attraction right here. Google Chrome might not have the shnazz that Firefox has, but it is FAST. At least, it was. When I first installed it on my comp, it loaded everything in half a second. But now it's kinda slowed down. It's not incredibly fast, but I'd definitely say it's faster than Firefox.....for now....

-Incognito mode: If you want to browse anonymously, just open up incognito mode, and cruise the web. Another plus to this is that you can quickly open up two different types of chrome, so if you want to open two different Gmail accounts, open one in regular Chrome, and one in incognito. At least, that's what I use it for......

-Downloads and homepage: One thing I do like, Chrome gives you the option to run an EXE, and the downloads page is pretty good. It's similar to Firefox's, except it pops up as a tab. Also, each download is shown on the bottom of the tab that it was downloaded from. And my FAVORITE part, you can make Chrome save an EXE, then click the downloading icon, and it will run it as soon as it's done. As for the homepage (or really the page that appears when you open a tab), it's a simple page that shows your most recent bookmarks, most popular pages (including screenshot), your recently closed tabs, and your searches. Not bad, Google, not bad at all.

-URL bar searching: I do like that -just like Firefox- you can make search engines linked to a tag, so that in the URL bar, you type "g I love Freeware", and it will bring up Google's results for "I love Freeware." However, what I kinda like about Chrome is that when you type a keyword, like "g", it will replace that keyword with "Search (Search Engine):" That way, you can be remembered what your keywords are, and if you forgot what your keyword for the thesaurus is, you aren't searching for nothing.

-Pop-out tabs: A very nice feature that I've always dreamed of in Firefox is the ability to pop-out/in tabs. Because each tab is a separate process, they don't have to stay in one window. Now, in Firefox, you can grab a tag, and drag it to another window of Firefox, but then the page has to reload. With chrome, however, you can grab a tab, drag it to another window, or even just create a new window of its own, and the page will not reload. That means that if you're watching a streaming video (let's say, Hulu, for example), and you want to combine your tabs to one window, you don't have to be afraid of reloading the tabs, and thus having to start your video over. To put it short, it's a very nice feature.

-Portable: Not officially, but some Dutch dude totally rocked and made a portable version of Chrome. Very, very cool, as I find portable Firefox to be a bit heavy at times

But there are a few things I don't like as much.

-Unreliable Java: Something I've noticed since making Chrome my main browser on one of my PCs is that it doesn't exactly do everything right. One example would be Java. Chrome flickers a ton whenever you have a Java applet in a window. Also, it doesn't work in alot of things like Google products. One prime example is here on blogger when making a post. In Firefox, when I put an image into a post, I can just click on the image, cut, then paste it somewhere else. In Chrome, you have to go into the HTML and cut/paste it somewhere else in the code. Chrome also has problems in the "Edit Posts" section when you click the arrow to expand the post. It has problems in Google Reader also. It just doesn't work perfectly in everything, which can be extremely annoying.

-Tab "independency": I know that Chrome boasts the whole if-one-tab-crashes-the-others-are-unaffected, but I just don't see it. Every time one of my tabs becomes slow or freezes, the others follow suit, even if it just losing the ability to scroll. It's a very nice idea, but I just don't see it in action most of the time I use Chrome.

-Not customizable: Again, it's built for speed, but it's really not all....period. A little skinning would be nice, eventually.....

Overall, it's a great browser. But to be honest, currently, at version, I'd say that in my opinion, it's a secondary browser at best. I love that I don't have to wait for Firefox to start up and all, but I just cannot stand being without any customization. But still, if you want something lite, give it a try. To each his own, and to many people, Chrome is their own.

Visit Google Chrome site for Download

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