Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thoughts on Google Chrome

After getting frustrated with a few issues with Firefox, I decided to spend a week using Google Chrome as my primary browser to see how I liked it.  Well, here are my observations.

Things I like:
  • In general, it does seem a bit snappier than Firefox.
  • I have not had it end up using half of my machines CPU like I was observing on occasion with Firefox.
  • I like the "minimalist" decorations/toolbars around the page giving more real estate to the page than I had with Firefox.
  • Single box for URLs and searching.  It isn't a big deal but just typing in one place rather than having a separate search box is a little easier.
  • Independent processes for each tab.  Should some page become a runaway, I can kill just it rather than having to hunt to find out which one and/or restart the whole browser.
  • Bookmarks toolbar that can be turned off by default but appears when you open a new tab.  Another way to increase real estate for displaying web pages.
Things I don't like or are different:
  • When using page-up/down the overlap from the previous page seems to be about 10% which is more than I'm used to and I think I'd prefer the roughly 5% that Firefox has.  For example, with normal sized text, paging down results in the last 5-6 lines from the previous page being shown at the top of the new page and this feels like too much.  I haven't seen an easy way to configure this but imagine there is something somewhere.
  • I like the "Quick Find" feature of Firefox where you can quickly search in a page by typing "/" followed by the text.  It isn't that much more work to just use Ctrl/Cmd-F so it is more just relearning to not use "/".
  • If you accidently close a tab, it does appear in the History menu, but selecting it goes to that URL in the current tab, it doesn't open a new tab.  This is kind of annoying as getting back to where you were requires opening a new tab then selecting the recently closed tab URL.
  • Microsoft Silverlight doesn't seem to work in Chrome.  It appears there may be a beta that adds support.
  • Without a separate search box, you can't have plugins to use other search engines/sites.
I'm sure there is much more, and any hints or tips are welcome.  For now, I'm sticking with Chrome at least a little longer as it is working for me.  How about you?

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