Google’s browser, Chrome, was released not too long ago and just about everyone wrote some kind of review on it. I wanted to wait to have enough time with it. I have been using it exclusively since the day it was released to know for sure if I can use a web browser that is so different from the rest. It turns out it’s my favorite browser.
A little something about me you probably don’t know. When I use a browser, I use it just for viewing websites, what it was intended for. I am not a fan of plugins and themes. A browser should be as light as possible. It makes viewing websites a lot more enjoyable. Google has created a browser that I have always wanted.
Here comes Chrome at a perfect time when we’re angry for Microsoft causing web developers nothing but problems with Internet Explorer; Mozilla pushing Firefox 3 out with its annoying bugs; and Apple with their font smoothing in Safari, which doesn’t even look good in Windows with any of the font smoothing options; and Opera, I don’t know what to say except that the last time I used it, a lot of sites didn’t work right.
So, what’s so special about Chrome? It should be very obvious when you look at it, ignoring the blue appearance of course. In Vista (with Aero enabled), it isn’t blue. In Vista, the titlebar and the tab bar both have transparency. My favorite part is that there is no menu, search or address bar taking up space above the tabs. Chrome still has an address bar, which allows you to search from it as well. And, the menu is found by clicking a couple buttons. I love having the ability to move tabs into its own window or move from one window to another one. No need for me to go into detail about every feature, you can find that on the Chrome Features page.
What makes Chrome better than others browsers (except for Lynx)? Its speed. Chrome loads very quickly. Websites appear right away. Everything is about speed today.
For those of you paranoid people (who probably have something to hide), a German security company created Iron. Quoted from the Incomplete News Project:
The “Iron” browser is based on the “Google Chromium” source code, but “Iron” does not send any user specific data to Google anymore and it does not contain a unique user ID.
And, if you’re worried about Chrome’s automatic updates, get a firewall and block it. Also, If you’re worried about Google collecting data, maybe you should be worried about your ISP, too?
- Use Google Chrome Backup to create, backup, restore and manage multiple profiles. It also supports Google Chromium.
- Install Greasemonkey so you can use some useful scripts. There are two ways to do this. Learn how at Make Use Of.
- Increase the number of URL suggestions in the Omnibox. Learn how at Make Use Of.
- Change Chrome’s appearance with a new theme. Download all in one pack or download individual themes. Also find more themes at Free Chrome Themes.
- Install and manage Chrome themes with XChrome.
- Create your own Chrome theme with Chromium Theme Creator.
- Worried about privacy? Make Use Of has a few tips to regain your privacy in Chrome: changing default search engine, disabling the suggestion service, and removing the unique browser ID by using Chrome Privacy Guard or UnChrome.
- Use TabsLock to launch a new Chrome tab or even Chrome itself if it’s not already running by just using the Caps Lock key on your keyboard.
- Force Chrome to use less memory by telling it to use a single process rather than one process per tab. Doing this will cause the whole browser to crash if one tab crashes.
- Block advertisements in Chrome by using Privoxy.
- Run Chrome on a thumb drive with Portable Chrome.
- Download a more up-to-date and open source version of Chrome, called Chromium.
- See all of Chrome’s features in video format.
- Read the Power User’s Guide to Google Chrome from Lifehacker for some great tips.
- Add a Print button to the bookmarks bar.
- Make the bookmarks display as icons only on the bookmarks bar. (I love this because I have so many that I would like to appear without having to go to Other Bookmarks.)
- Use the Chromium Nightly Updater to check for the latest nightly build.
- Check out Chrome’s full list of special about: pages.
- Add features from Chrome in Firefox.
- Check out the Google Chrome Wiki for some tips and tools that I may not have mentioned above.
Everything Else Chrome
- For those of you who switched back to Firefox but love the look of Chrome, just download Chromifox or Chrome Package. They will make Firefox look almost like Chrome.
- Want a Google Chrome icon for a dock? Download at Deviantart.
- Use CrossOver Chromium to run Chrome on a Mac or Linux. CrossOver Chromium is a Mac and Linux port of the Chromium web browser.
- Check out the Google Chrome Comic Book.
- Open websites in Chrome from Firefox with a Firefox extension.
- Chrome themes for WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger.
I think too many people expected more from Chrome. They should realize Chrome is beta and is very new. Does beta even mean anything anymore except to say that it’s new? Every browser started off with very little features. Do you really want a browser that will just slow down as you demand more and more from it? I really hope if/when Google adds a lot of features such as themes, that they provide a light version of the browser (what it is today) and a full version, or at least an install that lets you select what you want installed.
Have you installed Chrome? Did you like it? Will you use it when there are more features? If you didn’t like it, what did you not like about it? Saying you need your Firefox extensions isn’t a good answer. That’s not a good reason for not liking Chrome, it’s just you missing your Firefox extensions.