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Author:  Gremlette
September 25, 2008



 

 

First Impressions of Google™ Chrome 

The Best New Web Browser

Chrome Search directly in the URL Bar. No messy toolbar addons

Chrome Search directly in the URL Bar. No messy toolbar addons

This was written weeks ago – and the first impressions still stand just as good with the test of extensively hammering it as my defualt browser. How fantastic is it to be able to search DIRECTLY in the url bar!

BIG GRINS all round here – I have a new Toy.

Chrome Right Click Features

Chrome Right Click Features - Particulary 'Incognito' windows, 'copy the Link or image address' and the favourite 'INSPECT ELEMENT'

Just when I already though it was the best thing since sliced bread, I find yet another, even more exciting feature.

Many browsers carry some pretty nice features though usually bear a few fundamental ‘cons’ along with the ‘pros’ Such as: The initial ‘ooooooooooh’ that looks flash. Followed by “meh”, looks good but isn’t as functional as [whatever browser]. The ‘Oooooh’ I Like that Feature …. then not be able to find it again for the life of you and the ‘oooh’s soon turn to nothing spectacular.

Not with Google™ Chrome so far!

 

  1. It looks ‘Different’. The design is basic but rather ‘snazzy’ with the ‘less is more’ rule of thumb. Features like subtles colour changes and transitions give this browser an industry standard quality feel. 
     
  2. The control features are enormous, yet they are placed intuitively. There are no Mictosoft standard looking menu and navigation bars and Google have demonstrated perfectly that they are not needed. The result has maximised the viewable browser area while still leaving everything you could possibly need at your fingertips.
     
  3. Start typing anything into the address bar and recieve a big smile. Every character typed as it builds into a word is automatically web searched by google and displayed along with any resolved address results page description. Would we expect anything less from Google considering what they do?
     
  4. Have you ever typed a phrase into search, retrieved a result that perfectly matches what you are eagerly hunting for, and then go to the page and not be able to find the phrase? In Google Chrome, there is a ‘search within page’ function that allows you to search within the current page that automatically highlights what you want. 
     
  5. Tab index page Favouriting, easy access (unlike Operas hard to find ever again version). 
     
  6. Incognito Mode! – Open an incognito window to browse the web that DOESNT save your browsing history. 
     
  7. VERY easy settings and favourites import from your other browsers. The ‘Options’ panel for security settings etc are extremely simplified. The 3 tabs are ‘Basic’, ‘Minor Tweaks’ and ‘Under the Hood’…. and they all look as easy to deal with as the easiness as the menu tabs suggest. 
     
  8. Click to look at the full elemt inspector and page highlights

    Click to look at the full elemt inspector and page highlights

    Amazing ‘ Inspect Element’ on the right click menu. This literally strips the site down to the bare layout elements. It even highlights the area of the page that the element code that you hover your mouse over, and gives the pages CSS style settings plus a visual including dimensions of its box model layout. If you are a web designer wanting to de-bug yours or someone elses CSS or someone learning CSS and HTML – then this REALLY helps.
    You will also find that if an end tag is missing, then this browser will not ‘invent one’ – it shows it as it is :) .
     

  9. View Source. Displayed fully colour coded source code with line numbers and underlined links – absolutely fantastic.
     
  10. Accessibility. Text zoom preferences easily at hand…. no doubt more bonuses for the hard of sight .
     
  11. SUPER DUPER W3C compliancy. If you don’t close a tag, the Chrome will interpret it as such. No flimsy compensation like in all other browsers here making it the best test browser for Web Designers and programmers. 

These are just a few of the things that ‘GOT’ me initially. 

This is only the Beta? SOME BETA – This lightning fast, USEFUL featured browser is definately ‘my’ favourite already! This is a quick, not comprehensive review that certainly could be expanded upon for quite a while but lets let Google blow thier own trumpet for herin shall we?

Linux Users….. sorry, it hasn’t been ported for Linux yet. MANY are quite a bit upset about that especially when they have tried it out and cant have it yet on thier own Linux box. Fingers crossed it will come out of Beta testing soon and be available for all. 

Currently Windows only download – GRRRRR

One absolutely brilliant thing I found out the other day. If you are working on / debugging including PHP scripts in a pagethat uses CSS such as include statements you normally will NOT see any php error messages if you have the font size on the overall page set to font size 0 (a very common fix for layout issues in IE Browsers). Chrome however, will show the error in tiny tiny minature ‘just’ enough to see, grab and paste into an notepad doc to read it.

The ‘inspect element’ also shows any errors on the page with full validation reporting features.

The reason I am glued to Chrome so much is not as a browser as such. It is an excellent testing environment for developers and designers. Of course, other browsers need testing too – but the others don’t make it half as easy for web developing and testing as Chrome does.

 

A little glitch that may annoy some is that CSS -moz-border rounding does not work… boxes will be square. So what, It doesnt work everywhere anyway.


Filed under: Browser Reviews ... Comments (9)

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9 Responses for "Goooooooogle Chrome Browser – First Impressions"»

  1. Hollow

    Unfortunately it has been drawn to our attention that Googles Chrome browser has several security flaws and we should not be “recommending it”.

    Well let me start by saying, we do still recommend Google Chrome to users provided they are conscious of the security risks that may be there. Our review of Google Chrome still stands true and we still believe it will be the best browser available, period.

    As with all things Open Source and Google, if something is listed as BETA software you should be aware it may have bugs and security holes that the developers are currently unaware of or working on.

    So to wrap this up, if you feel comfortable using Google Chrome, knowing that it has a few security holes that Internet Explorer probably has as well then go for it. Remember, every piece of software has it’s issues, IE7 is widely recognised as the least compliant and least secure browser out there, Firefox can display things in a completely different manner than the web designed/coder intended and Others out there are just as bad. Don’t let media hype spoil your browsing experience!

  2. Gremlette

    All I have to say is:

    This is ‘Fist Impressions’, says nothing about reccomending, just outlines the first of the many brilliant features noticed. I still stand by it being by far the best browser for usability and features.

    IE has had holes in it like it had a machine gun to it. ALL browser technology has teething problems and I do not see why there should be an exception here. Do you not wonder why there are so many CONSTANT updates on Microsoft Operating systems.
    Upon Chrome install, you are given the option to allow update service, and the browser will develop as any browser does.
    I also point out the little important detail. This is Chrome BETA.

    I think all those hyping around the web about Chrome security teething troubles should step off the soap box, think a bit and step into reality.

  3. blakamin

    “IE has had holes in it like it had a machine gun to it. ALL browser technology has teething problems and I do not see why there should be an exception here. Do you not wonder why there are so many CONSTANT updates on Microsoft Operating systems.
    Upon Chrome install, you are given the option to allow update service, and the browser will develop as any browser does.
    I also point out the little important detail. This is Chrome BETA.

    I think all those hyping around the web about Chrome security teething troubles should step off the soap box, think a bit and step into reality.”

    This cracks me up!
    You guys had a link on the right hand side of your page “recommending” chrome for a few weeks!
    You think anyone who has any idea about security uses IE AND Windows?
    hehehehe
    Sorry…
    And remember, gmail is BETA too… is there anything google do that isn’t?
    You can’t get sued in the mighty USofA if you’re running a beta!
    I also know that a lot of the people “hyping” chromes security happen to make a living in the web security industry.
    It’s just a better idea to realise some flaws in the software when you are a responsible reseller, repairer and all-round IT guru than it is to recommend the software because it’s fast and you’re able to search from the “spybar” as it has been called.

  4. blakamin

    Just a thought on another browser you guys can try.
    http://lifehacker.com/5054276/iron-is-google-chrome-for-the-tinfoil-hat-crowd

    well worth it from what I hear and based on an updated version of webkit.
    I also apologise if I sounded sarcastic in my last comment.

    I would just like people to be informed.

  5. Gremlette

    Yes, blakamin, all I can do is agree with all of that.
    Thing is, nothing is ever perfect. Like in anything, it can be improved upon until the cows come home. My usual rule of thumb is not to entertain ANY software until at LEAST the second release no matter how well endorsed it is. It’s a sue/sue society full of red tape- we all know that…. the ‘cover your ass’ approach is a completely normal part of any society and industry.
    ‘Spybar’ hehe well it is about as hook and claw free as anything on computers out there – nothing is impermiable – We prefer the live without the preverbial security blankets. At the end of the day, if you are doing nothing wrong, then you have nothing to worry about. We use Skype, we know it’s full of holes.
    If anyone is that worried or paranoid, please put the computer on the scrap heap now.

  6. Gremlette

    QUOTE: “Just a thought on another browser you guys can try.
    http://lifehacker.com/5054276/iron-is-google-chrome-for-the-tinfoil-hat-crowd

    well worth it from what I hear and based on an updated version of webkit.
    I also apologise if I sounded sarcastic in my last comment.”

    The Sachasm is appreciated :) Keeps things light.

    I distinctly remember when installing Chrome, that I checked a box saying it is OK and permitted for usage statistics to to sent to google. and yes, I then immediately proceeded to log in to rapidshare…. Google can make of that what they will. C’est la Vie.
    As for things like passwords, every time you sign up to a PHPBB forum, your password is normally displayed in plain text to the administrators – so just dont give them reason to hold grudge. At the end of it, it is down to common sense and a bit of care on how and where you use and go on the internet.

  7. Hollow

    Thanks for that blakamin, I found the pages about Iron quite interesting.

    As for your point about GMail being Beta as well, I’m a developer and I consider ALL software to be beta, it’s never a “finished product” and any dev who says their software is finished is an idiot (IMHO of course).

    Software constantly requires security updates, feature updates and constant babysitting in this modern world of exploit hacking and “tin hat wearers”.

    Unfortunately there is one thing I have to disagree with you on, plenty of people I know who work in the “Electronic Security Industry” use both Windows and IE. An old colleague of mine who is still a close friend, is an extremely talented, over qualified genius that specializes in Data Forensics and network security, uses both on a day to day basis.

    It all comes down to how thick your “tin hat” is. If you double folded the foil, don’t use chrome use Iron, if you just went for one layer, you can use chrome and just make sure you UN-TICK the box allowing google to collect statistics and information, oh and be careful what you look at.

  8. Symsys

    to quote ‘Blakamin’ …. ” You guys had a link on the right hand side of your page “recommending” chrome for a few weeks!”

    you had me hunting but finally unearthed where you was referring to…. on the About page, on the main site, in Site updates. There is and was nothing else to my recollection – Something I missed previously.

    Hollow, ‘Un tick’ the box?…. who you kidding – usually there for show maybe? If you want the paranoia route, in the early days I had myself convinced that Symantec write their own viruses and have a fully fledged hack team. But then, in the view business is business and all is fair – that is not such a crazy thought.


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