Recommendation: Download Google Chrome ASAP

I finally got around to downloading Google Chrome and I'm regretting that I didn't do it sooner.  This thing is very fast and after using it for just a few hours I'm ready to make it my default browser, with Firefox second and IE as "use only if desperate."  I'd put off downloading it until I read an article in an old issue of Wired that was essentially a behind-the-scenes account of how Google got into the browser business. Two things in the article prompted me to act: the fact that they hired a guy specifically to make Chrome faster than the other browsers and that they designed it so that if one tab froze the rest of the tabs would still work.  That's been my biggest frustration with Firefox:  when I overload one tab the rest of the tabs crash with it.  I can't tell you how much online work I've lost due to that.

Another cool feature is that they got rid of the separate search field in the tool bar.  If you go to what we traditionally view as the address field, you know that place where you can type in the address like http://www.google.com and go directly to the site, and type in a search phrase it will provide some web addresses that might make sense if you don't use the search results.  For instance I typed in "google chrome" and it dropped down a menu of links including a link to Google search results and a link directly to the Chrome home page.  When I typed in the name "ed cone" it dropped down a prompt to search for ed cone on Google and it also dropped down some search suggestions for words similar to ed cone and it dropped down a link to Ed's blog.  It's really very convenient.

So, give it a whirl.  Really it's painless because Chrome easily imports all the bookmarks and other settings from your other browser so you'll be up and running in no time and I don't think you'll regret it one bit.  Especially when you see how fast this booger is.

4 thoughts on “Recommendation: Download Google Chrome ASAP

  1. Brian Leon

    As a software developer, it is one of my job requirements to test the software I develop on a series of platforms. Primary browser is Internet Explorer, secondary is Firefox. I want to get really esoteric about it, I might try Safari as well.
    Chrome, being a new browser, is not one I officially test with as its market penetration is minimal in the general population but somewhat meaningful among hard-core techies like myself.
    It is a decent browser. The interface does require some getting used to but what is significant for us is the ability to test AJAX code. AJAX code is the stuff which gives things like Google Maps its extraordinary ability to zoom to all parts of the map and load in all sorts of photos, overhead and street level, as well all search results and so on.
    Chrome is a AJAX browser supreme.
    The ability to render dynamic content blazingly fast is something we appreciate. Solid performer in making the remote calls to get new content to refresh the web pages.
    People want more interactivity with their web browser and AJAX is the primary way other than Flash to deliver it.
    Now the question is whether people will go out of their way to download Chrome to their computer. Firefox has been the superior browser to Internet Explorer for years now but has currently only 20-25% share of browser visits compared to IE. Foward looking people will download a browser if it makes their surfing more enjoyable but there is a ceiling on that percentage of the population. IE is built into Windows and will get updated when PCs get their regular updates from Microsoft. Similar with Mac computers and the default Safari browser.
    If Chrome does become a more significant player in the browser market, it will probably be more at the expense of Firefox than IE. But that part of the story is yet to be written.

    Reply
  2. Jon Lowder

    Great comments Brian. An interesting aspect of the Wired article was the obvious mixed feelings that some of the Google browser team had about the project because they’d been tasked with working on development with the Firefox for years before they started on Chrome. In other words they were Google’s contribution to the Firefox movement and they were worried that folks in the Firefox development community would be pissed at them.
    The article also mentioned the AJAX aspect that you brought up. My understanding is that Safari is also blazingly fast with AJAX; have you found this to be true?

    Reply
  3. Brian Leon

    I have found Safari to be decently fast when it comes to AJAX but not much faster than Firefox. Of course, it depends on what you do and how intensive the amount of data you retrieve to reset your webpage. For example, retrieving and displaying a photo album is much more intensive than saving an application form via Ajax which is much more intensive than a simple notification that something is happening. Internet download speed is just as important here as well.
    To save time on the download side, there is an API by Google called Google Gears which offloads some of the routine data into a database located on your computer so that you do not need to keep retrieving the same info over and over.

    Reply

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