Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Google Chrome: First Impressions

I've went ahead and downloaded Google's new browser, after spending a few minutes playing around with it my first impressions are: it's fast and very light.

Unfortunately there is no Linux version as of yet, only the windows version has been released. There was a noticeable speed increase when loading most of the sites I went on compared to Firefox and IE 7. Didn't notice any big differences between Chrome and Opera, they were both very fast. One area where there is much more noticeable difference between Chrome and Firefox is memory usage. From what I've seen, Chrome uses much less memory than Firefox. With one tab open Firefox was using 88143k, whereas Chrome had a combined memory usage of

Chrome is very similar to Safari, they are both based on WebKit, and they both load my blog incorrectly. As you can see from the screenshot below, Chrome can't seem to load my Navigation menu properly. I also get some alignment issues in both Safari and Chrome. I used to think coding for IE was a pain but getting things to work in Safari and now in Chrome is going to be trickier. If something looks mis-aligned in IE, all I have to do is add a # in front of some extra alignment code and it's fixed, however no such fixes seem to exist for Safari. Another big annoyance I have with Safari and Chrome is that holding down the middle-mouse button doesn't scroll.

The browser looks very nice, I like how the address bar also acts as a search bar without an extra box next to it like in Firefox. The tabs being at the top feels a little weird, being used to Firefox for so long, but it won't take long for someone to adapt to it. Just like the comic said the browser creates a new thread for every tab, I tried killing one of the processes and all that happened was one of the tabs closed.

Here is the browser in Incognito mode. A very useful feature but I prefer the noscript/cookie control plugin options for Firefox.

So to sum it up Chrome is a very light and fast browser, however I am not going to be replacing Firefox anytime soon. Not until they add proper scrolling and I can figure out how to make my site look like the way it looks in all other browsers. Anyway they still yet to release a Linux version. Anyone else tried it? Let me know what you think of it.

Update: Another reason why I won't be using Chrome is because of the following part of the license agreement:

"By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any content which you submit, post or display on or through, the services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the services and may be revoked for certain services as defined in the additional terms of those services."

Update 2:
Google have changed the Terms of Service for Chrome, the above no longer applies. You are free to surf the web using Chrome.


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