Ramblings of a Coder's Mind

Got Tech? Will Hack.

Browser Tryouts: Google Chrome

Having heard all the rage about Google Chrome, I decided to try it out this Friday morning before leaving for college. What’s this I see? An online install? Of course it doesn’t mean much to people who have connections which can download the 7.3MB installer in a few seconds but for others, its a bit more arduous. Here’s a direct download link to the Google Chrome installer for others like me who have connections which are as slow as if not slower than broadband ;) To download the full Google Chrome Installer (7.3 MB) click here.

Chrome is Google’s Next Generation browser and I must say, it does feel good :) (This post is being written in Chrome :P). It did take some time to load up the page but I suspect that’s because of the page not being cached yet and that Chrome doesn’t seem to have Google Gears. O.o I distinctly remember reading that Chrome has the Gears engine in the Chrome Web Comic but when I tried enabling Turbo in the Wordpress panel for Chrome it said that I didn’t have Gears installed. So it sent me to the Gears webpage which said my browser wasn’t supported. :P Seems like I’m not the only one who noticed ;)

Like most other Google products, Chrome has a simplistic yet powerful UI which puts UX above everything. Its technical specs are pretty impressive too. The process isolation for tabs, sandboxing them for extra security and omnibox are things that almost every experienced internet user would want. Moving from Firefox to Chrome would be easy considering that all the shortcuts remain the same :P Ctrl+J opens the downloads window in Chrome, Ctrl+T for tabs (pretty standard), Ctrl+Shift+T for opening recently closed tabs etc. If you don’t already know about memory fragmentation and how Google Chrome deals with it, you should read Page 6-7 of the Google Chrome Web Comic.

You can right click any web page in Chrome and click “Inspect Element” and this would take you to the page source. Viewing page source in a browser was never so awesome. Chrome highlights and formats the code beautifully but I can’t get it to search through the source for some reason. Also the resources tab allows you to “put the blame where it rightfully belongs” when it comes to memory leaks ;) But the Firefox addons development community is huge and the 3 addons that are going to keep me using Firefox are delicious bookmarks synchronisation (for access to bookmarks across multiple computers), FlashBlock and the almighty AdBlock! :) Also, having individual processes for each tab is a neat thing when it comes to functionality but for someone like me who lives half his life in the processes tab of Windows Task Manager, seeing all those chrome.exe processes does get a tad bit annoying :)

Chrome is an excellent start and I’d say, with a few tweaks and changes its going to be a great browser. I’ll just wait a few builds (or at least till I have ports of AdBlock and del.icio.us bookmark syncing) and then use Chrome a bit more regularly.

PS: Why do I have the feeling that the age of the browser war threads on forums across the intarwebs are back? :P

Update: Oh I knew this would happen!

Created: 7th September 2008
Category: Review
Tag: Browser