For the past week, I have changed by default browser on both my home and work computers (Apple iMacs running Mac OS X Snow Leopard) to Google Chrome. I have not previously used Chrome and have been a long-time loyal user of Firefox, but I’ve heard good things and figured I’d give it a shot. Knowing I wouldn’t get much out fo it just downloading it and surfing for a half hour, I decided the best way to really get to know it is to not use other browsers and exclusively use Chrome.
The absolute first thing I noticed when I opened it up is that if I had blinked, I would have missed it. When it comes to opening speed, Firefox is, well, slow. I had previously thought Safari was quick to load, but Chrome even makes Apple’s default browser seem sluggish. Beyond just opening, page loading is also speedy and smooth. Also a terrific feature is the ever-growing selection of extensions. This is something that I’ve always enjoyed about Firefox and is a great first step if Google wants me to switch over to their offering. Even the interface itself is clean, intuitive, and simple to use. Overall it is a very appealing browser and is constantly being updated with new features trying to stay ahead of the competition.
I’m not a big fan of the search box and address bar merger. I have a ton of different search engines that I use regularly and the ability to rapidly toggle between them. Chrome, sadly, does not make this an easy task.
There were more than just a handful of sites with nagging visual errors that just simply are not there when using Firefox or Safari. I can overlook just about every other issue I have with Chrome, but incorrectly displaying pages that I frequent is a dealbreaker.
After a week, I will admit I am impressed. Although Google Chrome will not be usurping Firefox as my primary browser, it has earned a spot in my Applications folder and I will be continuing to use it as a secondary browser.