Chrome, Google’s very own web browser just dropped on us a couple of moments ago. I’m glad my insomnia tonight has kept me up enough to give me a chance to lay my fingers on this shiny new geek toy moments after it came out of the Google oven.
As with every new product, my first response was of awe. Looking at the
about:memory page of Chrome, it feels as it this was more than just a web browser but an entire OS within an OS.
The ability to shift tabs across browser windows without having the reload the page is a huge plus to my workflow as I tend to organize them quite a bit during browsing sessions, especially after hours of wikipedia-ing.
Of note is Chrome’s tab highlighting in forms. Jeff Atwood once brought this problem up in his post, Where the Heck is My Focus?. With Chrome, even the blind, or in my case, the color blind, can tell where the focus is at.
Having painting enough smiles on the browser, I’ll have to point out some not-so-happy parts next.
Over the past years, I’ve became so entrenched in Firefox that it almost feels like a volunteer lock-in. Firefox has all the extensions I need to get a day going, such as AdBlock, DownThemAll, and more recently, Weave.
Also, I haven’t found a way to add a keyword to search fields, which I rely on tremendously in Firefox. (Edit: Found it) Adding on, it seems that metadata from Firefox 3′s bookmarks/history such as tags do not get imported into Chrome. Having spent a huge amount of time tagging my bookmarks properly, it makes me hard to live without them tags.
Chrome’s future is still uncertain. There is no doubt that the innovations present are groundbreaking, but it would be tough for Google to compete with Mozilla, which already has a well entrenched market share, and of course, Internet Explorer. It is unlikely that Chrome replace Firefox 3 as my default browser in the near future, but I’ll try to do as much work as possible on it to familiarize myself.