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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.


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