Playing With Chrome

Which is to say I’ve downloaded the new Google browser and have been playing with it today.

Early thoughts: Meh. It’s okay so far. It doesn’t compel me to switch my default browser from Firefox, but it’s not bad. I’ll play with it some more and let you know what I think.

34 Comments on “Playing With Chrome”

  1. The nice thing about Google is that they’re taking over the world via offering good quality products rather than aggressive underhanded marketing tactics. (So far, anyhow…)

  2. I installed on both my XP desktop and Vista laptop. Seems to load pages a little faster but not conclusive.

    I like the clean interface but at the same time it’s a little too sparse.

    The most annoying thing so far is no plug-in for Google Bookmarks. DOH!

    In a bit of weirdness I twittered about installing this and saw your twitter at the same time John – is this karma?

  3. Someone on my twitter is playing with Chrome, and she’s not really impressed either.

    Frankly, until/unless they come up with an adblock equivalent, I won’t even try it. I like my internet ad-free.

  4. Pass. No menu bar. Mac users may think this kinda thing is cool but I’m just annoyed by it.

    Just one more triumph of form over function.

    Jerry H.

  5. You know Google: release software as early as humanly possible. The main requirement seems to be stability; features can come later. But I expect them to accrue relatively rapidly.

    There is at least one unequivocal good: more energy behind WebKit and open source. I’m just hoping that Chrome’s market share comes more out of IE’s dominance rather than out of Firefox’s portion. The strange thing is that it’s on the other side of IE from Firefox: simplicity, rather than richness of features. We’ll have to see how it plays out in user agent logs.

    The most important innovation here (with this first release) is one that users will not generally see. Google seems to be focusing on building a better foundation for a modern browser. If they accomplished what it looks like they were trying to, security and speed will remain possible through the next stage of evolution on the internet. The underlying browser reorganization should make it implicitly harder to mount attacks against Chrome. Rather than patching vulnerabilities one by one, this innovation renders a whole class of attacks impossible. (But I’m not a security expert. Ask Bruce Schneier, if you want a more intelligent opinion.)

    The other thing the reorganization did is force each tab to run under its own process, meaning that things such as memory leaks (the reason Firefox slowly grows to consume 200,000 K of memory) are easier to control.

    I’m sure that innovative interface changes are underway, and that better integration into Google’s current offerings (like the aforementioned Google Bookmarks) will soon be available. The dearth of such features in this release by no means implies that it is an unimportant milestone. It just means that it might be a while before most of us would consider switching over.

  6. Seems clean so far; the “home page history” is kinda cute and “saves a click” which can be a selling point. Same with the + to open a new tab; it is kinda slick.

    Chrome didn’t like our office timesheet program; this puts it in the majority with people in the office, but browsers don’t have the luxury of complaining the way people do (software packages are the serfs of their moronic user lords).

    I received the Windows, “Report This Error” error at the conclusion of the install; this leads me to think trouble is looming, but so far functionality has been fine.

    Had it beaten the release of Firefox 3, and in particular, provided an earlier alternative to the memory issues that FF2 had, I’d probably be more excited about it. But FF3 seems pretty solid with no substantial security breaches to speak of; I think Chrome was just a few months late to get the user share, at least in the short term.

    At the end of the day, it is just another program I’m going to have to quality test against if it gets popular…so, everyone, don’t get to excited…please.

  7. I can’t use Chrome, due to it not being available for my Mac. I read the technical blurbage and was impressed (although I’m not sure whether having Scott McCloud ink your white papers should count for or against your technology, or whether it merely shows you’ve got a metric buttload of money.) That said, it seems like Chrome is aiming towards the “minimalist but wicked fast browser” idea. This is good, and would be compelling, if I hadn’t spent a bunch of time playing with Flock (, which shows just how cool the “solid engine with a ridiculous bunch of auxiliary doodads” browser can be. Strongly suggest you give Flock a try.

  8. I have tried it tonight and it seems to be functioning well.

    I have had trouble with firefox crashing on media heavy pages. So far, that problem seems not to be occurring.

  9. I get the feeling that this is an early beta. There are somethings that I will definitely use but other things are just plain missing. I can’t wait for the full version, I’m willing to convert if it adds a bookmarks functionality similar to IE and full-screen.

  10. #5: I use a Mac at home and Windows at work, and while all Mac apps I’ve ever seen have menu bars…I can think of a few Windows apps (e.g., IE 7, some versions of Windows Media Player) that don’t have a (or default to hiding their) menu bar….

  11. There are several pagdses that load a LOT faster for me – most of those being media-heavy pages like Hulu, Metacafe, etc (yes YouTube also, but since that’s a Google property, I’m gonna guess that would have been a given anyway :) ). One thing I did note is that the speed gains don’t as apparent on my XP 2.0 Ghz P4 as they are on my dual-core Vista system

    What’s got me squeeing is the tricks of the tabs – I can drag one to the desktop and get another window with this tab, and when I want to merge them back, I just drag it back to the page and it merges back into the original window.

    I’m also starting to love the “Create Application…” feature as well for web apps that I leave open all the time

  12. No extensions = no adblockplus, no greasemonkey, no customizegoogle, no autofill forms, no bugmenot, no…. Can’t see myself using it forever, but it’s fast and cool.

  13. It sounds fast, it sounds cool … but the Agreement which one is expected to accept prior to download is rather off-putting, at least to this I-Am-Not-A-Lawyer carbon unit. Am I way off base in recoiling from an ostensibly open-source product/project which is wrapped within an agreement which requires that “thou shalt neither decompile nor reverse-engineer” clause in its EU*A?

    Still’n’all, I wants one. Especially once — or rather, “if” — it gets past the “all the world’s a wintel platform”, because this would put paid to certain friends who can rant for hours about how unfair the FOSS community can be to those who play further afield (in pastures such as BeOS, FreeBSD, etc etc etc).

  14. I don’t really get the ‘create application’ thing, because I dragged the gmail icon to my desktop, double clicked on it and firefox opened immaculately with gmail and logged in. So what’s new?

  15. I’m writing this in Google Chrome right now. My thoughts after a day of solid use are: noticeably quicker at opening new tabs and running javascript-heavy pages. I like the minimalist UI–I have no need for menu bars or two thirds of the other cruft that clutters up other browser windows. The lack of an adblocker keeps me from making this my regular browser, but it’s a nice toolkit to have.

    However, the real winners for me are the Javascript console and debugger, which I think will make this the killer app for developers working on web pages. I’ve been wanting a good Javascript debugger for years, and Google just gave me one.

  16. Quoth A.R. Yngve @20:
    Please read the EULA before you install. Seriously, read it.

    Are you referring to the paragraph which mandates personal consumption of Hoola-Cola™?


  17. He’s most likely referring to the clause that basically gives google a perpetual, non-revocable license to your stuff that you post with it, for use in promoting their products.

    It’s truly evil.

  18. But did you read the EULA first? Judgung by the brouha online lately Google want you to give them you first-born child in exchange for the privilege of using their re-engineered browser.

  19. So, Chrome + Google Docs = Google Owns Your Stuff?

    Nice move.

    Well, Amazon did it first with their Search Inside contract. Got the e-publishing right to tons of books.


    Google announces their content publishing division, e-book reader and/or multimedia player?

  20. Yes, the EULA is evil, but it’s the same EULA you agreed to when you use gmail or googledocs.

    If you’re a writer, you shouldn’t use chrome or any google application, until this is expressly rejected by google. Till then they can use your words for anything they want to.

    The main points of this browser are mainly going to be under the hood. It’s a re-working, more of a starting-over, because the kinds of things we do with web browsers now are nothing like what was being done when MSIE and Netscape were in their heyday.

    We just didn’t stream video, didn’t have the bandwidth for it. 56 K modem was it for nearly everyone. Flash was in infancy. Javascript was a sometime, chancy thing. Stylesheets didn’t exist yet. DHTML was cutting-edge.

    This browser is designed with all of that in mind in the first place, rather than as a bunch of add-ons.

    So here are two big things: it’s wicked fast at javascript.
    Each tab is isolated from the others, so if one crashes, it doesn’t take the whole browser with it. If one bogs down the others don’t. These are great things.

  21. Well, I decided to give it a try to see what this “about:internets” business was, and.. well, I don’t really see myself using Firefox again any time soon.

    Also, no menu bar? Well, there’s those two little icons in the corner that basically do everything a menu bar would; they just take up a lot less space while doing it.

    The Internet feels so .. wide open now.

  22. 16. critter 42: What’s got me squeeing is the tricks of the tabs – I can drag one to the desktop and get another window with this tab, and when I want to merge them back, I just drag it back to the page and it merges back into the original window.

    About time web browsers caught on to that! Pidgin (an Instant Messenger consolidator) has had that function for years, and I’ve always wished that web browsers did too.

  23. Mark my words, it will soon be called the Googlenet.

    (In all seriousness, though, so far, I like it, mostly because a webpage that I HAVE to use for an English class (way media heavy) kept crashing IE, and I keep anywhere from five to eight tabs open at a time. According to the Google Chrome comic book, the webpage should theoretically only crash one tab! You should read the comic. It gets pretty tech-heavy, but if you just look at the stuff in large caps, you get the idea.)

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