Chromatose - gHacks Tech News

Chromatose

Let’s talk about Google Chrome. Why not? Everyone else is.

I would be willing to bet anyone reading this article has already downloaded the Windows beta and is probably using it right now so I’m not going to go through the feature list or anything like that, besides, Martin’s already taken a look at that side of Chrome.

I downloaded it this morning as well… and I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. Personally when I saw the screenshots yesterday my first thoughts where; ‘it looks like Opera 9’ and then, ‘it looks ugly’. I find that the Google minimalist style works great on the web, but in conventional software it simply looks tacky.

However I was wrong. Trying out the product in reality and it’s actually really nice in terms of user interface, visual effects and functionality. The typical Google design ‘quirks’ which look out of place in a screenshot make perfect sense when you actually use the product.

Essentially it doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but brings together what are the best features of each other major browser. I think some of this is unintentional, the similarity of Chrome’s feature list to Internet Explorer 8 isn’t something they would have planned.

On one hand, a unique new browser seems a little superfluous, that makes Internet Explorer (5, 6, 7 + 8), Firefox (2 + 3), Opera and Safari. On the other hand Google has every right to try its hand in this space, especially considering the very premise of the company.

What people seem to be wondering about is whether or not Google Chrome will favour its own applications and services over the rest of the web. Personally I hope they do… I’m happy to think of Chrome less as a browser aimed at taking on the Firefox/IE market, and instead a Google Application which makes accessing Google services from the desktop that much easier. So I like this release, but not because I will use it to replace my other main browser, but because I will use it to access Google services.

Most of Chrome is present in some form in other browsers, but Google has a couple unique killer features such as download management, which is seriously amazing and the Task Manager. Other benefits are the sleak design, performance and rapid javascript loading.

Oh, and this beta release of Chrome feels more stable than the final release of Firefox 3.

In essence I guess I would say this about Google Chrome; “nothing new, but done just right”. What’s your thoughts?

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Comments

  1. Jojo said on September 3, 2008 at 10:44 am
    Reply

    It will be some time before I try Chrome as I will wait for a more developed product. However, [at least] two things really impresses me about Chrome:

    1. Google has isolated EACH tab into its own “sandbox”! This is a major security issue in tabbed browsers and I only hope that FF/IE, etc. will quickly follow and do the same.

    As it stands now, if you allow something to run through your firewall in say Firefox, then it can run in any tab in the browser, not just the one tab that you allowed from. If you deny permission for something to run, then it applies to the whole browser and not just the the particular website in the tab that had focus. This is a potential large security hole.

    I complained about this weakness in the past to Comodo, whose firewall software I use, but they never did anything about this problem (which is why I am still running Comodo 2.4 instead of 3.x). In fact, Comodo support didn’t even understand what I was talking about!

    2. I also like the built-in “Incognito” mode in the Google browser. This is a good idea.

  2. garbanzo said on September 3, 2008 at 11:52 am
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    just tried it. i was rather frustrated by the lack of a ‘home’ button!

    at the moment, i am far too dependent on a handful of Firefox extensions to even consider switching browsers. it worked well enough, but so do all the other browsers i’ve tried.

    as for the sandbox feature, i usually run Firefox in Sandboxie anyway. and if i feel like being stealthy, i’ll use OperaTor. between these, i have everything i need…

  3. butty said on September 3, 2008 at 12:10 pm
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    I’ve tried it but the experience with it was very disapointing. I expected the Gmail and other Google products to work better than in the other browsers and finding that they load slower that in FF3 it made think that I’ll have to wait a long time until I’ll use Chrome (Gmail loaded way faster in FF3 even with lousy “skins” added to it, and if the promised javascipt upgrade to FF3 will have its expected impact I don’t think I should wait for Chrome upgrades anytime soon).

    Also it freezes for at least 5 seconds when it loads .flv in a page!

    Has anyone else had problems with it? (Or am I the only unlucky one?)

  4. nob said on September 3, 2008 at 1:26 pm
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    @garbanzo
    look in the tools dialog for that

  5. iampriteshdesai said on September 3, 2008 at 3:28 pm
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    With Google’s penchant for Betas (Gmail is still in Beta testing) I wonder how many decades it will take before Chrome finally goes live.

  6. foo said on September 3, 2008 at 3:43 pm
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    ” ” exactly.

  7. Roman ShaRP said on September 3, 2008 at 4:28 pm
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    I launched Chrome, opened my journal, saw freaking ads, looked where to block them, found nothing, closed Chrome and returned back to Firefox.

    That’s all, folks.

  8. darkkosmos said on September 3, 2008 at 4:50 pm
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    “killer features such as download management, which is seriously amazing and the Task Manager. Other benefits are the sleak design, performance and rapid javascript loading.”
    What of it? My firefox skin + sefl made styles look good (better than chrome if I may say so), the rapid script loading doesn’t matter to me; my computer is fast enough and the task manager is a joke -.-.

    btw did you know chrome is vulnerable to carpet bombing? and did you read the EULA?

  9. David Bradley said on September 3, 2008 at 6:04 pm
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    The idea that Chrome will be a system for access Google apps is basically how I saw it, a kind of virtual OS, that will no doubt morph into a fully fledged OS at some point in the future, kind of like MS Windows in reverse

  10. archer said on September 4, 2008 at 12:10 am
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    roman said it well.

    also, the lack of full control of cookies is a major negative for me. accept or reject only. no option to decide per site.

    a big positive is the ability to create standalones using the app shortcut feature.
    i think that’s all i’ll be using it for at present.

  11. Matt said on September 4, 2008 at 3:24 pm
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    I agree that there’s obviously a lot of features missing, but I’ve found it to be extremely fast and lightweight compared to IE and FF. And with this news (ignoring the commentary and guesses from the author) all those pretty extensions we all rely on so much will be added soon I think.

  12. Matt said on September 4, 2008 at 3:43 pm
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    Also this should help those of you concerned about the EULA/TOS.

  13. Drizzt said on September 6, 2008 at 2:46 am
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    I feel that it really has added benefits when Google launch their web browser this week called Google Chrome.

    An added benefit of it is the tight integration of Google Gears into it.This i would think will translate to better performance when working with some Web 2.0 application such as Gmail, Remember The Milk etc.

    Specifically, Google Chrome enables you to launch a streamline web application such as Remember The Milk or Zoho Docs by itself.You can compare the vast differences in speed when you launch a Google Chrome instance vs a Mozilla Firefox 3 instance.

    The problem is that for these application, you would require only one copy of it to run and reference it time and time again. What do i think is the best way to do this? Enter AutoHotKey.

    Here i will go through an example of how i will use Chrome and AutoHotKey to bring up a list of To-Dos on Remember The Milk.

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