Google Chrome Now Available - gHacks Tech News

Google Chrome Now Available

The new browser by Google called Google Chrome is now available for download in various languages on the Google Chrome website. The installation file has a size of 474 Kilobytes on Windows XP and downloads additional components during setup.

The first thing that users will realize after starting Google Chrome is that it will import bookmarks from Firefox and Internet Explorer amazingly fast. It took no longer than a second to import all of my Firefox bookmarks into Google Chrome including the saved passwords, browsing history and search engines.

If you remember the comic that introduced Google Chrome or the article on Ghacks or at other websites you may remember that Google Chrome uses tabs that are independent from each other.What this means is that the browser is using a multi-process architecture which aims to improve stability and performance by separating websites into different processes.

If you analyze the computer memory usage of the browser you need to check all instances of chrome.exe that are visible in the Windows Task Manager which is one instance of chrome.exe for the browser itself and another instance for every open tab that displays a website on the Internet.

The interesting fact about this method is that the browser will never use more memory than it needs and that the memory will be cleared completely when the user closes a tab. This principle worked extremely well during tests.

Websites are loading faster than in other browsers which can be attributed to the new Javascript rendering engine and the browser engine. Everything about Google Chrome feels faster than in the other browsers.

google chrome

Speed is one of the major factors of each browser, but what about other features and compatibility? Google Chrome is displaying all websites that I tested perfectly fine. I went to flash video game websites, blogs, websites from corporations and some social news websites and everything seemed to display correctly.

The new tab feature which displays the most visited websites plus the last closed websites plus the last websites that have been added to the favorites and a search function works extremely well and is time saving most of the time.

The Google Chrome Task Manager was another feature that sounded pretty exciting. It displays a Task Manager that is displaying the memory usage, cpu and network stats for the browser, all open tabs and plugins. This makes it easy to identify a process that is using lots of memory, for instance to end it right away in the interface. It also contains a Stats For Nerds link which opens the about:memory configuration in the browser which displays detailed statistics about the memory usage.

Google Chrome basically uses the same keyboard shortcuts that all browser share. CTRL T opens a new tab, CTRL N a new windows and so on. The Task Manager can be opened with SHIFT Escape. There is a handy shortcut to perform a search on the default search engine. Pressing CTRL E puts a "?" in the address bar and a search will be loaded for the phrase that the user enters afterwards. This is focusing the address bar automatically. CTRL Shift N opens a window in incognito mode, the mode where no data is saved on the computer.

The Google Chrome beta version is impressive. It lacks a few features that are very important to users like an adblocker or the option to disable scripts but it's pretty good for a beta version. The part of the url that starts behind the domain extension is not that readable, some options to change those colors would be welcome.

The browser is showing lots of promise already. It would be nice if Google Chrome would offer more options to customize the interface and settings.

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Comments

  1. Amos said on September 3, 2008 at 12:26 am
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    I’ve played around with this beta a little, and don’t really think it does enough stuff for me and isn’t yet extendable enough.

    However, I do think I’d recommend it to a not-particularly-technical person as a better simple alternative to IE6.

  2. Martin said on September 3, 2008 at 12:28 am
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    Amos that’s the main point that I’m missing as well. It offers a good out of the box experience but lacks features and extendability.

  3. GRTerrero said on September 3, 2008 at 2:58 am
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    Yikes! Another one.

    I used Internet Explorer to go over and check this new Google tchotchky out. I was hardly impressed.

    You may commence to shooting.

  4. ghatak said on September 3, 2008 at 3:51 am
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    i played a little with this new product and hardly find any advantage over opera 9.51

    only the new interface may attract you ..

  5. Murtaza said on September 3, 2008 at 4:33 am
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    It’s cool but not Awesome.. :(

  6. jeremy steel said on September 3, 2008 at 6:34 am
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    google is sneaky…it even replaced the icon of ie7 on my start menu with the chrome icon. out of habit i click on where the ie7 was located and chrome started instead.

  7. garbanzo said on September 3, 2008 at 6:42 am
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    people seem to be forgetting this is a beta. comparing it to firefox or ie or opera is quite pointless.

    anyway i don’t imagine google is aiming to compete with present browsers. this was probably built to make google apps play nice with their upcoming phone.

  8. ProReviewer said on September 3, 2008 at 9:10 am
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    Google Chrome seems very interesting but has a long way to go to pass Firefox in terms of overall use and functionality. (Comment above on Beta – Google have endless betas of all their products so it just doesn’t count the same)
    I downloaded it as soon as I could and have tried to review all the functionality – it certainly has more than the basics but there are quite a few things I would consider essential missing.

    BTW If you are interested in a fairly full set of screenshots and some notes and opinion to go with them have a quick look at ProReviewer.com

    Barry Cleave

  9. rruben said on September 3, 2008 at 3:12 pm
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    For tech people this browser is of course not enough because we miss add ins. But can you imagine what this browser means for just a normal non-tech person?

    don’t forget that there are a lot new functions you probably don’t know yet that they are there.

    http://google.client.shareholder.com/Visitors/event/build2/MediaPresentation.cfm?MediaID=33101&Player=1#

    If you look at this presentation from Google you will see that it has some very nice functions other browsers don’t have.

    So after working with it for a day I think I will be using firefox 3 for 45% Chrome for 45% and Opera for 10%. Before Chrome it was arround 80% Firefox and 20% Opera.

  10. Blf said on September 3, 2008 at 5:12 pm
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    Not impressive. IE8 looks much more interesting.

  11. Gravity said on September 4, 2008 at 9:08 pm
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    awesome… I love the interface, plus the browsing speed is amazing.
    check out this article for more details:
    http://www.gravityblue.com/2008/09/03/google-chrome-web-browser-from-google/

  12. Rob said on November 20, 2008 at 6:11 am
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    It definitely SMOKES compared to IE. There are some nice variations to Chrome, but the speed is one of my favorite factors so far.

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