Google Chrome: First impressions
The search engine giant has release its own browser. Chrome
is remarkably polished, incredibly fast and promises greater stability. By Prashant
Googles new browser is out. Like all of the companys recent offerings
it is a beta. For a so-called beta it is very polished. So much so that Id
say that it is no beta at all. Google Chrome is the equivalent of a Release
Candidate (ready for general use but lacking a few features that will be added
down the line). Here are my first impressions of the latest entrant to the browser
- Its really, really fast. This is particularly
- The browser rearchitects the under the hood paradigm
that has been used in every browser to date except for IE8s beta. Till
now, a browser ran every process in the same space resulting in poor stability.
IEs historically been better than Firefox in this area as each discrete
copy of IE (every time you double click the IE icon on your desktop instead
of choosing File-New Tab or Window you are running a fresh copy of the browser).
Chrome, however, changes everything by running every process in its own space
so that stability is much, much better. What this means is that if a tab crashes,
the entire browser doesnt go down like the Titanic. IE8s beta
does something like this but Googles implementation focuses more on
reliability unlike Microsofts that tries to find a balance between performance
and stability. Best of all, Chromes memory usage was pretty much the
same as that of any other browser (20-30 MB of RAM more for the core process).
- Chrome has a radically simple UI. To give some examples,
the search bar and address bar are finally one. Theres no menu bar at
all (IE7 did this to a barrage of complaints). All you get is a tab bar on
top, the address bar with a couple of icons that give you the menus such as
they are and a bookmarks bar where you can rearrange the bookmarks that Chrome
imports (without a single hiccup which is very rare for the first release
of a browser) in a jiffy during installation.
Google's Chrome browser with the Pitchblack theme; Chrome is blazing fast
and takes a fresh approach to how a browser works
- Googles browser does not export bookmarks
as of now. Its a feature thats to be added. What it means is that
if you ditch your older browser and move to Chrome and then decide to move
back, you could be on a sticky wicket as there is no way to get your bookmarks
back to your original browser.
- Theres no easy way to change themes. The default
theme is very XP, all bright blue. There is a much nicer theme available named
Pitchblack and you can install it if you have a moderate level of proficiency
but its a far cry from the ease with which you can add a new theme to
- The browser lacks support for extensions/add ons
unlike Firefox/IE. It does support plugins including Flash but extension support
would be nice. Its supposedly on its way.
- The Webkit engine lacks compatibility with Domino
Web Access. Thats how I access our corporate mail server and that is
why Ill continue to use IE or Firefox along with Chrome. This is just
what turned up from using Chrome for a couple of days. Your mileage will vary,
some of you may have no problems others may find crucial sites inaccessible.
- The user interface is not good at handling scads
of tabs. If you have too many tabs, they shrink to the point where you cant
see the titles at all.
Pressing Shift+ESC brings up the Task Manager that shows you all the processes
in Google Chrome. This is something that you would normally expect in
not a browser.
- Chrome is a good first offering. It could be a threat
to IE if Google continues to push it hard (the downloads currently linked
directly from oogle.com) and innovates rapidly to add the missing features
in the next few months before IE 8 hits the street