Posts Tagged ‘Chrome’

Chrome for Mac

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Google recently released its Chrome browser for Mac and Linux. I have been using Chrome on Windows since its launch, and was looking forward to seeing it on the different operating systems. Google has some stiff competition to overcome in the non-Windows world. Safari is an excellent browser, and to overtake Safari will be quite a challenge. Linux is dominated by Firefox, another excellent browser. Safari, Firefox, and Chrome have all integrated elements of CSS 3, and HTML5, which would be reason enough to avoid Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE). Add on IE’s security holes, lack of modern web technology, and a decade-long refusal to play in the sandbox with everyone else, and it is easy to see why any browser is a step above IE. But enough of the IE bashing.

Chrome was recently tested against Safari. The results are displayed here. Chrome ran circles around all the browsers except Safari. In this test, Safari was 12% faster. This appears to be the case only on the Mac, where Chrome has only existed for about a week. On Windows, Chrome remains the fastest browser, even against Safari.

In the overall browser war, Chrome overtook Safari by a slim margin to become the #3 browser. Now that Chrome has released extensions, it will be interesting to see what changes in the next few months.

I have used a number of browsers on my Mac. I have Safari, Firefox, and Camino. I installed Chrome last week and have been using it almost exclusively. I think it is very fast, even if the statistics show it as being slower than Safari. Interestingly enough, I use Safari more on Windows than I do on Mac, which may be why I can’t see a major speed difference.

Chrome for Mac runs quickly, and it behaves as I expect it to from the Windows version. I am pretty happy with it so far. I am looking forward to adding extensions so my Chrome experience from each of my computers remains consistent. Until then, give it a shot, Mac users, and let me know how Chrome works for you.

Chrome Extensions

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

chromeextensions

Google Chrome has been well known since its launch as a fast browser. It has been known for working consistently. I have been using Chrome since its launch and have been pretty happy with it. The one thing it was missing was the one thing that makes Firefox stand out so well – extensions. Firefox is so customizable it is hard to beat. Google listened to its users and decided to give us what we’ve been asking for.

Chrome Extensions launched yesterday. Since Google opened the source code for developers the extensions page was already well-stocked upon launch. I had used a couple of them during the development stage and was pretty excited about what would be made available in the future. Some of the extensions are pretty simple. Chrome lacked an easy RSS subscription tool. Now it has one. Chrome didn’t have an easy way to check for new Gmail messages or Waves. It does now. There is even an extension for the Woot of the day.

Google’s main goal was to release the extensions without slowing the browser down. They didn’t want to sacrifice the speed and quality we have come to expect from the browser. It looks like they were successful.

A feature that makes Chrome stand above Firefox is the ability to install or uninstall an extension without restarting the browser. Firefox requires a restart, and most of the time it is able to conveniently re-open all your tabs. Chrome doesn’t need to restart. Being based on html, Chrome extensions don’t need a lot of processing by the browser. I think this was a good move on Google’s part.

Now that Chrome has extensions I am going to use it even more than I already do. Will I leave Firefox? Not in the near future. There are still many reasons to stick with Firefox. As a web developer I have to have every browser anyway. Until all browsers follow the standards I won’t be able to completely rule one out…as much as I would like to nix Internet Explorer.

Chrome extensions are easy to use. They are fast. If you haven’t tried them out yet, you can find them at chrome.google.com/extensions. If you are following the link from Firefox like I did the first time, it will kindly remind you that extensions only work in the Chrome browser. If you do have Chrome installed, there is another way to get to the extensions. In the browser location bar type chrome://extensions. This will show you any extensions you have installed, and will give you a link to the extension gallery so you can find more.

Go ahead and check out Chrome extensions for yourself. I am pretty happy with them. Hopefully you will be too.