Google Chrome is the new browser out of Google Inc. The beta version of the browser is available for download here. Here are some quick points after some brief usage of the browser (It is not a technical review):
1. Chrome is a beautiful color for a car and a fantastic super cool name for a browser. I like the name and I like the simplistic blue bordered window.
2. It is quick, seriously. I didn’t do any sort of bench mark testing but by the look of it I feel Chrome can be a serious competitor to Safari when it comes to page rendering. We can probably wait for Arstechnica or a Engadget review for this to know the exact detail. The reason for this quick rendering is it runs on Webkit, the same base as Safari.
3. Google Chrome is here because of Android, Google’s Cellphone OS just the way Safari is released for Windows due to iPhone. Chrome is released so that Webmasters can work on making their site work well with the new browser, before the Android phones are out.
4. Google wins in simplicity. The first time I saw google homepage with nothing but a search box and a couple of buttons, it stood out in stark contrast with a cluttered Yahoo homepage. I loved it and ever since I had been a Google user. Chrome looks simple, in fact so simple that there is no File menu on top, just like Google Chat. The minimalist design gives you two drop down buttons – Settings and Bookmarks. What else do you need really?
5. You can type on the address bar itself and search in Google (or any other search engine that you set up).
6. Whenever you open up a new Tab, it shows a list of pages that you most visited and a list of bookmarks on the right side. This comes in very handy as you can quickly select the page you want to go to. The response for the click on this page is a little slow sometimes. It could be because of the Beta version.
7. As a long time Firefox user, I couldn’t give up Firefox for Safari on Windows due to the extensions that Firefox supports. Chrome doesn’t have extensions either, So I will mostly be using Chrome to play around for now. I have to play neutral and wait and watch until I can decide if I can permanently switch to Chrome on Windows. For Mac, I am not giving up Safari.
8. Bookmarks are strategically placed on the bookmarks bar itself. So you don’t have to go around to a menu and choose other bookmarks not on the bookmark bar.
9. Settings is cool. It only offers 3 categories – Basics, Minor Tweaks, Under the hood. Typical google, usage of layman terms.
Overall, from a usage of about an hour or so, I like Chrome and I will be using it as my second browser. I will be waiting for Chrome for Mac and will also be looking out for a good detailed review of the browser by the technical folks. Let’s see how it fares.
P.S: It has to be a coincidence that Google released Chrome right on the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi, a Hindu festival. Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!