Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Web browsing with Google Crome, Initial review

I've just been playing around with Google's new beta web browser and I thought I'd write a few things first up.

I'm actually using it right now.

At first glance, I think the whole "less is more" approach to user interface design has been probably a bit overdone.

The back, forward and go navigation icons tripped me up a bit initially, and I kept looking for the drop down list to access my recently visited sites. However I'm impressed with the way the recent and most visited sites with screenshots automatically appear when I open a new tab. Chrome really takes tabbed browsing to the next level.

Importing settings from Firefox seems easy on the surface, but even though I closed Firefox as advised, it still didn't recognise that Firefox was actually closed.

There are some interface bits and pieces to get used to. I found myself accidentally adding sites to my favourites. But Chrome is much quicker and easier to sort bookmarks into folders which is a definite plus.

It has taken a bit of time to get used to less right click options. In particular, I find myself looking for "Refresh" and "Find" options, only to find them in the toolbar. The page icon is a bit counter intuitive and a bit of a catch all and working out what is in either this or the Tool/spanner icon is a bit tricky at first.

I like the inbuilt developer tools and History tab is great.

As a web developer, I'm really interested in how it renders sites. But having checked out many of my favourite sites, I can't yet see any obvious rendering differences between Chrome and Firefox, which is another real positive. However I did notice that while Hotmail works, rich text editors on Blogger and many content management systems (CMS) don't. I'm told this is a problem WebKit, the engine that both Safari and Chrome are partly based on. But more on this to come soon.

Overall, Chrome Beta is not a bad first up effort by Google, although I still think Firefox is better and will probably remain my favourite browser ...

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