When Google released its own browser, many were taken by surprise. They had never anticipated the search engine giant to make a foray into the web browser arena. The project took around two years to complete and Google managed to keep it under wraps until September 2008. Finally when word got out, it was through a comic book of thirty over pages. From the comic the rest of the world learnt that Chrome was inspired by Webkit, an open source rendering engine, which powers Apple’s Safari browser.
Many took Chrome’s release seriously because Google has cut a name for itself when it comes to developing cutting-edge web tools. Web gurus who put Chrome to stringent tests were unanimous in their verdict: Chrome deserves to stand alongside the browser big boys like Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.
If you like the Google Search interface, you’ll love Chrome. It follows a similar less-is-more approach. The toolbar features nothing more than the forward, back and refresh buttons. There’s also the address bar and some menu icons thrown in for good measure. Missing though is the Home button. Worry not because you have the option of enabling it. The same goes to the bookmarking feature.
The first thing any internet surfer would look for in a web browser is speed. That’s one reason why Firefox has won many hearts. Page loads are extremely fast and rivals Firefox – an impressive start for the new kid on the browser block.
Yes, Chrome comes with the tabbed feature. But it goes a step beyond. Each tab is treated as a separate Windows process. If a tab doesn’t load, you can close it manually. Chrome’s Tab Manager facilitates this.
Are you wondering how well Chrome handles streaming video sites? Here’s the verdict. Videos plays smoothly at sites like YouTube. Chrome also handles flash and AJAX-enabled sites impressively. The same goes to e-commerce sites including sites featuring Java and ActiveX controls.
There’s one feature in which Chrome outshines Firefox. When you start typing a word in the address bar, Chrome offers to complete the word for you, drawing its suggestions from your browsing history and also from your search engine. What this means is it searches the text of the pages in your history folder unlike Firefox which can handle only address searches.
Also with Chrome, it’s not compulsory for you to use Google search. You can easily switch to your favourite search engine like Yahoo, Ask or MSN.
The other feature that may impress you is the Incognito mode – you can browse the web without leaving a trail behind for added privacy, much like the Safari’s Private Browsing mode.
Despite its impressive debut, there are some areas that are wanting. A glaring shortcoming is the absence of a RSS feed reader.
The other area where it loses out to Firefox is the absence of plug-ins which Firefox is renowned for. It means that you have to make do with what Chrome offers and expect nothing more. The absence of plug-ins alone will make many users stick to Firebox.
Despite these small shortcomings, you may still want to opt for Chrome for its speed, stability and other specialized features.