Top news on the internet this week is the beta release of Google’s new browser, Chrome. Google has designed this new browser to try focus on speed and simplicity. For the user, Google wants the browser to disappear and to focus on the actual applications and pages users are viewing, rather than on the border with its gadgets and tools. Google has rethought the Internet browser–some of its basic underpinnings are quite novel–but users will recognize some features as they exist in other, open-source browsers on the market today. Chrome is based on the open-source project Webkit, the same web rendering engine that is used by Apple’s Safari browser. If a page renders in Safari, it will render just fine in Google’s Chrome.
At the moment, only the Windows version of Chrome is available for download. Plans call for Mac OS X and Linux versions in the near future. That said, Google has released Chrome in 43 languages and in 122 countries.
I remember several years ago when google.com was first launched, it was mostly a techy thing that was underground and not common knowledge. Since then Google has emerged to be an internet giant and even old time guru’s such as Yahoo have taken a back seat. Google has indeed become the Microsoft of the Internet. Google has taken the internet to an entire new level, helped promote open-source development, etc the list goes on. Maybe I’m a bit strange but I guess I just tend to love the little guy and with Google’s mass growth, buying out popular websites (such as youtube), It gave me the impression that Google was without doubt trying to gain a monopoly over things which turned me off quite a bit.
The rumor of Google creating a browser has been around so long that it was finally dismissed and forgotten about like an old urban legend. When I heard that they had indeed released Chrome I had my concerns to say the least. Nevertheless I had to give Chrome a try to at least check it out and see for myself.
My first opinions of Chrome at a glance…
It’s fast, sleek, and simple. When I first launched Chrome it almost felt like a java type application because it was so slim and light weight. It seems that Chrome is Google’s challenge to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Firefox to get them to play catch up… and they might just achieve that goal.
It felt a bit awkward using it at first because the roughness of control and eye-candy that I was used to just wasn’t there. I felt like my hand was slipping when I was scrolling sites in Google Chrome.
I don’t like how it saves passwords, where anybody can log into your account. But I am confident it will be worked on, and might have similarities to Firefox’s saving password feature and master password feature, which I hope.
It crashes way too much with multimedia, especially on sites such as YouTube, but the good thing is it only crashes the unresponsive tab, not the whole browser, which is an exclusive feature against other browsers.
I think it is very secure since the essential proportion of the whole browser is built and powered by webkit, which has went through evolution and development on it’s own so I doubt there will be many security flaws found any time soon.
The home-history phone-dialing-like feature is awesome, and very cool. You can quickly visit sites that you frequently visit by pressing the home button and being met with webshots of your favorite sites, which is an internal directory and it’s ranked on par with your actual favorite sites, at least by my experience
I don’t think this will be anything big soon, and will cover 5% of the market share, unless it provides plug-in integration in the future, like FireFox does. I won’t be using this as a default or much unless it has some alternatives to some of my favorite plug-ins on FF.
If Google listens to the consumers, and acts effectively, it might end up stealing the show, but for the time being it remains a fairly unpolished beta (with a great amount of potential).
Overall for a beta I give it 4 / 5 for its effective surprise and satisfactory. I think it has a way to go still before it would be convincing enough to get me to switch from using Firefox. I think Google’s move to make it open-source was especially wise to help defend its integrity against paranoid internet users who think it’s solely a tool for Google to collect data.