Yesterday Google released Chrome, a brand new web browser onto an unsuspecting internet. You’ve probably been inundated with all sorts of opinions and views on it, but I’m going to give me tuppence as well.
- It’s fast. Very fast
- Webkit – the Safari rendering engine. Not used Safari much but it is well known for being pretty strong, and fast. It seems to be the closest we’re getting to a standard too with software like Adobe AIR using it as well.
- Tab processes, a very clever idea. If one tab crashes, the rest are left unaffected.
- No “favoritism”, you can use other search engines/ applications/ whatever if you wish
- Built in support for turning a website into an application. I now have gmail on my desktop and it couldn’t have been easier
- Unsecure pages have the https crossed out in the domain name. Plus you get a warning page, and a warning sign in the url bar.
- Minimal design it’s very easy to use and takes up almost no screen space. I’ve heard a few complaints about the aesthetics as well, but personally I think it looks rather nice. Apparently it looks better on Vista than XP though.
- Resizable text areas, very handy. From a design point of view it would be nice if there were html properties that restricted the resizing to vertical/ horizontal but that’s not a big issue really.
- No ad blocking
- No extensions – Firebug… where are you? To be dair it does have some dev tools (apparently based upon those in Safari) but they’re nowhere near as good as Firebugs
- No subscribe to feed button in the url bar (or anywhere else), would have been perfect time to intergrate with google reader (my feed reader of choice), although we do have to remember no favoritism plus from above 🙂
- No minimum tab width so open a lot of tabs and you will get confused very quickly. Needs some sort of scrolling when there is an overflow.
- Very slow page rebuffering/redrawing when lots of tabs are used and you switch around. A few times I have had a dozen or two tabs open and, when switching to one of the older ones, I’ve had to wait 4/5 seconds for anything to appear.
- Very easy to close tabs, too easy even – and I’ve done it by accident more than once
- The lack of support for the middle mouse button scrolling, specifically when you click the mouse wheel and can then just move the mouse around to scroll wherever you wish. This isn’t something I thought I used particularly but I have noticed it’s “disappearance”
I think the browser is a fantastic first version, and with some additional iteration could do very well. In particular I think it would be a perfect first step for young or less technical users. My Mum currently uses Firefox but I wonder if getting her onto Chrome would be a better idea – something to consider at least.