Google has just released the beta version of its all new open Source browser : The Google Chrome.
Google has said for a long time that it will come out with a browser that advances the web experience tremendously. With the release of the Chrome, the Internet Explorer (IE8) vs Firefox vs Chrome battle begins.
Reasons Google says it built the browser for :
- It wants to build “
- Like its Classic Google homepage it wants to keep the browser Streamlined and Simple. It wants the users abstraction of the browser to be very high, where a user sees it simply as a tool in which he can perform multiple operations.
- Google as a collaborator for open source technologies has promised to make Google Chrome an open source hit. It has picked up components from Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s WebKit. It wants to make the whole web better by adding onto options and innovations.
Google has also come out with a comic to advertise Chrome that tell us the purpose of its existence. Here are a few interesting snapshots from it.
Click here for the entire Google Chrome Book
Watch this video, where the Google geeks tell you why and how the Chrome was born.
Now Specifically, the things that the Chrome Browser Highlights are :
- One box for Everything – I am not quite sure how much this helps. This integrates google search and other websites under the URL Bar. I prefer them separate and find it quite irritating when a huge list of options is displayed.
- New Tab page – This is a helpful one which gives you more options instead of a blank page and also stores history in thumbnail views.
- Application Shortcuts – This one lets you create an application/websites shortcut on your desktop, quick launch bar or start menu. Don’t really see why i would clutter my desktop. It does help but if you directly want to access your mail for example just by one click. (It saves user/pwd on creation of the shortcut)
- Dynamic Tabs -This is a cool one and for people like me who have a lot of tabs open, its very helpful. You can rearrange tabs very easily and also convert a tab into a new window.
- Crash Control - Google claims that you can end specific tab processes if they crash by a simple task manager. If you right click on the top bar, and then click task manager, you get to see the all processes for each page that is tabbed. You can just end any process that has crashed or has taken up excess memory. I crashed it once and i could not open the task manager. Google needs to work on its “Sandbox” a little more.
The Stats for Nerds Link takes you to a web page which gives you more info.
- Incognito Mode – The IE 8 beta version has something similar which is dubbed the “Porn Mode“. In Incognito, no history, passwords, files opened and downloaded etc are saved. You can have two windows of chrome opened, one with normal settings and one in incognito.
- Safe Browsing – Google gives a warning if the web address listed in the certificate does not match the chrome URL. Usually websites that phish or have malware display this warning. This is usual stuff and is present in all browsers nowadays.
- Instant Bookmarks – Simple and easy way to add bookmarks. Same as in Firefox.
- Importing Settings – You can import setting from any of your old browsers.
- Simpler Downloads – Download Bar at the bottom of the browser shows progress. You can just drag and drop a downloaded file into which ever location or install from the browser itself.
Some Usuability features
Bookmarks on the “Bookmarks Bar” – Users can display an optional bar just below the “one box for everthing” to list all your bookmarks.
Chrome’s Find in Page option is more powerful and usuable then Firefox’s. The search displays the number of items found and you can traverse the results by the up/down buttons.
The Text Zoom has 3 options – Larger, Smaller, Normal. The layout zoom in firefox is way better.
There is a very neat “Paste and Go” option on the right click of the URL bar. You dont have to click enter again to load the page.
The History and Downloads viewing options show a date/time based page. It’s simple and has a nice search facility. Somehow i felt the firefox does more.
Even though this is just a beta release of the Google Chrome, has google delivered on things that it set out to build the browser for ?
I found the browser very streamlined and easy to use. The interface is great and simple. It just adds to the whole Classic Google keep it simple stupid principle. But i found a few things like crash control and One box for everything not still up to the mark.
Speed has always been the forte of firefox. Eventhough it loads slowly and consumes more memory, its webpage loads are much faster then other browsers. Its caching is excellent also. The Chrome fails in this aspect and is slower than Opera or Firefox.
I will still try Google Chrome and see how it comes out in its final release. The more the competition the merrier for us users.
Browsers are all about personal preferences. So download Google Chrome and see if it suits you.
So Which do you think will win the Best Browser of Choice in the IE vs FireFox vs Chrome battle ?
Take the poll
Google Chrome Download Link
For Windows Vista/XP SP2 : http://www.google.com/chrome