Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Check Out Google Chrome


First, let me set the stage:

Internet Explorer is my comfort zone. I was slow to start using FireFox, and still not very keen on using FireFox.

These are the only browsers I use, and I haven't used any other browsers since Netscape was a big deal -- wow, how long ago was that?

Well, I can see that changing real soon, Google Chrome beta was released today, and I started hearing so much about it, I decided to try it out.

I'm not sorry!

First impression: small learning curve, but it is much faster than IE or FireFox. I tried it out on a few sites I thought were slow (I visit them often) -- they loaded so fast! Incredible!

 I had been thinking that with so many of my neighbors now getting high speed Internet on the same main cable feed as I, the bandwidth was really getting eaten up, but now I see I'm wrong!

Well, maybe there's some deterioration, but using Google Chrome, with no changes with my OS, router, or modem, my speed is so much faster.

Oh, there are still sites that seem to be taking a noticeably long time to load, but these are popular sites, and they are taking less time than they used to with IE and FireFox.

I see some things I do not like:
  • My favorites, now listed as "Other bookmarks" are on the right side beneath the address bar (maybe because these were imported from IE? I haven't seen where new bookmarks end up) -- I'd like to be able to move it to the left side.
  • After I've zoomed the text, new tabs open at the default -- I'd want it to work more like the text size feature in IE, actually I'd like both a text size feature and a zoom.
  • The zoom only enlarges text, not images -- IE has two different was to change sizes, one just changes text, and the other does text and images up to 400% (I've actually needed this on certain sites)
  • The built-in spell check does not allow for going back to change spelling -- the red line indicating a word is spelt wrong shows up when you type a space or punctuation, but I was unable to use the spell check to correct the word until I had back spaced to the bad word.
  • When I open a link into a new tab, the browser doesn't automatically switch to the new tab -- if I can change that, I haven't found it yet.
  • The spell check doesn't appear to work in search boxes.
  • When I close a tab, the browser switches to the nearest tab, not the last tab used -- again, seems like something I should be able to change, but I don't see where.
All in all, the bookmarks were imported without a problem. When I first open the browser or a new tab, I get images of my most visited pages, I'm such a creature of habit, I'm sure this is going to be a very useful feature.

If you are visiting a page, and you want to see the Html, you can look at the page source, similar to FireFox, but Google has include a tool I haven't seen before called "Inspect element" which I don't totally understand yet, but it looks a lot more involved than just viewing the page source.

Something new I haven't needed, but sounds very good, is being able to open Chrome's task manager, which allows you to see things like the memory being used for each tab, and gives you the option to close an unresponsive tab, instead of having to shut down the whole browser.

I haven't covered everything yet, but this is the beta release, so I'm sure there will be some changes. Others will disagree with what I don't like, and find their own gripes, but I'm starting out very positive.

I need to get back to web surfing now!

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