As you probably read or heard today, Google has released a beta version of their very own browser, named Chrome. You can download it today for Windows XP or Windows Vista, and Google promises that Mac and Linux versions are coming soon. I downloaded it as soon as it was available, and have been playing with it all day. Here are some of my impressions and thoughts so far:
- The interface is surprisingly simple. I like it.
- Chrome is fast. The two sites I’ve noticed the greatest speed difference with so far are Google Reader and Buxfer.
- I love the “Create application shortcuts” feature. The first thing I did after testing that out was uninstall Mozilla Prism. This feature is what will keep me running Chrome.
- I like having the status bar at the bottom of the window, so the fact that it is missing in Chrome will take some getting used to. Fortunately a box still appears when you hover over a link.
- Firefox made an effort to look more “native” to the operating system with version 3, and I wish Google had done the same with Chrome.
- A couple of my favorite Opera features are built into Chrome: paste and go, search shortcuts (such as “g” for Google”), and the “Speed Dial” page, though it is automatically created in Chrome vs manually created in Opera.
- As a web developer, I’m incredibly grateful that Google built Chrome atop the WebKit rendering engine, rather than creating yet another one for us to test against.
- I find it amusing that the Google Chrome logo has the same color scheme as the Windows logo.
Google very creatively launched Chrome with a web cartoon written by Scott McCloud. It’s quite long, but worth a look.
If you’d like to read more about Google Chrome, I suggest the following:
- Answers to common Google Chrome objections by Matt Cutts
- Inside Chrome: The Secret Project to Crush IE and Remake the Web at Wired, written by Steven Levy
- Google Chrome and the future of browsers by Chris Messina
And for my own reference, here is the NYTimes launch article.
I’ll be sticking with Opera for now, but I’ll definitely keep my eye on Google Chrome.