Google Chrome Browser – First Impressions

Last night I downloaded and installed Google Chrome, Google’s latest creation, an internet web browser. At first I wasn’t really all that interested as I’m quite infatuated with FireFox 3, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to check it out.

When you first open up Google Chrome, you get a very sleek and minimalist interface that has you focusing on the web content instead of the browser. That seems to be the latest trend in browsers and I like it. The second thing I noticed… man, this thing is fast! I mean web pages are rendered extremely fast and accurately. I loaded up my NetVibes home page with multiple RSS tabs. That usually takes quite a wait, but Chrome had it loaded in no time flat. Impressive.

The next thing I noticed is that when you right-click on the top portion of the browser, where the file menu would normally be, you get an option called Task Manager. Opening that reveals a windows style task manager showing Memory, CPU and Network usage of the Chrome browser and a breakdown of the various tabs and plugins you are running. Sweet!

Think that’s cool? Well, click on the little link at the lower left of that window titled “Stats for nerds” and prepare to be blown away! Ok, well it wasn’t all that extremely awesome, but it is cool. Now I get see the same stats in comparison with my running version of FireFox 3. Now they’re just bragging!

Finally, the thing that I fell in love with was in the tools section. At the upper right hand corner of the browser there is an icon of a page. Click that and go down to the Developers submenu and from there select Javascript Console. Firebug built-in anyone? This is a really great Javascript console that allows you to debug the page. It shows all of the page level elements and scripts and even tells you if they are computed or on the page. There is a console below where you can just type in Javascript commands and execute them on the page. Be careful, though! Not a great idea when you are writing a blog in WordPress. lol

There is also a tab at the top of the console that is title Resources. Click on that and you can get a very pretty (eye candy) view of the various resources that comprise a page and their respective load times. This could be useful in debugging a page that takes too long to load!

And now for the bad news. Yes, there is bad… basically it boils down to FireFox AddOns. There are a few that I use which I really can’t operate without. So until I can find alternatives to those which I would be just as happy with, I’m afraid that FireFox is still my browser of choice. Though I’ll definitely be keeping Chrome installed and playing with it.