Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Chrome-plated internet

Usually I use Firefox, but I've been trying Google's new browser, Chrome. Here's a review.

Chrome works well. During installation, it loaded my Firefox bookmarks seamlessly. They're in the right order and all. It took a little getting used to having them over on the right instead of on the left like Firefox,


but that's not a problem. It also added the "Sub with Bloglines" widget that I use with Firefox.

The interface is a little different. Chrome has a really clean look, with nothing above the address bar. There's just two little buttons, a picture of a document image and a picture of a wrench, at the end of the bar and above the bookmarks. Most of the stuff you might need to do is in those two pull-down menus.


It looks nice. By comparison, Firefox looks really cluttered.


OTOH, I think the Firefox interface is a little easier to use. All the stuff is right there, and clearly labeled.

Supposedly, Chrome is able to load pages faster than other browsers, but to be honest, I can't tell the difference. Maybe it will matter in the future, but it doesn't seem to now. Chrome apparently uses less memory -- Firefox is a big memory hog -- but I've never had any problems with that on my machine.

One nifty feature I like is that when you manually open a new window or tab, it shows pages you visit often, with a list of recent bookmarks next to it.


But new windows don't open in full screen, even though that's what I'm browsing in. With Firefox, new windows open in the same mode you started in.

It also has a strange bug. I was looking at a series of pictures on Facebook, when suddenly Chrome started looping. It would start to load the next picture, but then it would jump back to the last one I was looking at. It was impossible to look at another picture. Weird.

Anyway, my overall assessment is that, except for that one bug, Chrome works fine, but I see no reason to switch from Firefox. I would switch over from Internet Explorer in a second if those were the only two alternatives, but fortunately they're not. For now, I'll stick with Firefox.

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