Google Chrome in Beta

If you haven’t been hearing about Google Chrome all over the place since september 1st, then you probably didn’t go on the internet since because that’s all everyone is talking about.  Just like every other blog out there, this is our mandatory Chrome post ;-)  Google Chrome was released in beta yesterday and has already received quite a few reviews.

Google Chrome LogoChrome, is Google’s new Open-Source browser, which has been in the works for the last 2 years now. It combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.  It offers many features that are very interesting.  Here’s a quick list of new features:

  • One Box for Everything: Web search. Web history. Address bar. Suggestions as you type. One unified box serves all your browsing needs at the top.  You simply type in that box and results begin to appear as you go.
  • New Tab Page: Every time you open a new tab, you’ll see a visual sampling of your most visited sites, most used search engines, and recently bookmarked pages and closed tabs.  I like this feature very much.
  • Application Shortcuts: Use web apps without opening your browser. Application shortcuts can directly load your favorite online apps
  • Dynamic Tabs: You can drag tabs out of the browser to create new windows, gather multiple tabs into one window or arrange your tabs however you wish — quickly and easily.
  • Crash Control: Every tab you’re using is run independently in the browser, so if one app crashes it won’t take anything else down.
  • Incognito Mode: Don’t want pages you visit to show up in your web history? Choose incognito mode for private browsing.
  • Safe Browsing: Google Chrome warns you if you’re about to visit a suspected phishing, malware or otherwise unsafe website.  That’s not really new, but it’s implemented directly in the browser.
  • Instant Bookmarks: Want to bookmark a web page? Just click the star icon at the left edge of the address bar and you’re done.
  • Import Settings: When you switch to Google Chrome, you can pick up where you left off with all the bookmarks and passwords from your existing browser.  That’s also a vey common feature, but it would have been silly to leave it out.
  • Simpler Downloads: No intrusive download manager; you see your download’s status at the bottom of your current window.
  • V8 Engine: A better, faster and more robust Javascript engine, designed by the guys at Google.

Giving Google Chrome a test run is certainly the best way to see and experiment with all the features and the somewhat different interface.  The approach and presentation are excellent but there are naturally some things missing right now.  Keeping in mind that this is still a Beta version, there are some applications and sites that simply do not run with Chrome. Toolbars and plugins are also not available yet, so functionality is limited for power users.

If you are still using Internet Explorer, giving Chrome a try in something you should really go ahead and do because you are probably not surfing as fast and as easily as you should.  If you are a Firefox user, then it all depends on what your surfing habits are, but it doesn’t hurt anything to give Chrome a try anyway!  I’m sure that many features in Chrome will get their Firefox plugin equivalent in no time, but the speed of a browser is pretty difficult to replicate in a plugin.

Chrome is built with Google Gears, so there should be version for all platforms eventually.  Right now, it’s only available for Windows.

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