2 sept. 2008

First Look: Google Chrome

Well, today, Google launched its highly anticipated web browser, Chrome. Many people, and among those many, I'm included, have expected this browser to appear for at least, let's say 3 years. When YouTube

I'll be writing this as the experience unfolds itself. That way, you may share my excitement (or not) and I won't be sleeping soo late tonight (although, may I add, it'll still be kind of late).

Let's get to work:

21:51- After working on some vectors, I decide to take a break, and check out Google's new web browser. I'm using ye olde faithful Windows Internet Explorer. I search for Google Chrome on my Google search engine, and single-click on the first link, that directs me to the download page for Google Chrome. Looks just like every other Google page: minimalist, kind of cheap-but-reliable looking. I'd have expected something more kitsch or festive, being something so expected by lots of Google onlookers around the world. But then again, it's nice to see people in Google aren't sellouts...

21:59- The download window opens as it would on any other page. Run *Click* and the files start to download from Google's cloud server (or wherever the original setup files are stored). 5 minutes go by. Run *click again*. A small window appears on my screen: Google Chrome Installer. It displays a small message: Downloading Google chrome. I thought I had already downloaded it, or at least the files....

22:47- The Google Chrome Installer window has gone. It was here for a full 48 minutes, and then it was gone. I miss it already....

But now, there's a new, pretty snazzy-looking window. It reads: Welcome to Google Chrome. It says it will import markers, passwords, and MS Internet Explorer configurations, as well as adding some shortcuts. I press on the "Run Google Chrome" button. I liked the fact it imports all my settings from other browsers. This'll makes it easier for me to choose which one I like best, without having to change or re-enter all my previous settings.

Google Chrome's a sparse, neat-looking application . That, although shallow, scores some points with me. If a browser cares for its appearance, it means it must have either a real good programming code, or a really bad programming code.

The tabs are on top of everything, instead of being beneath the browser tab , as in Firefox, Safari and IE. By the looks of it, Chrome lacks F11 full-screen view. I search for my favorite webcomic, Questionable Content (www.questionablecontent.net). The browser takes a mere 4 seconds in showing my webcomic. YouTube was opened in 2 seconds, and deviantART in 6 seconds.

Minimalism is palpable with this browser. When looking at the options menu, you have only 3 settings tabs: Basic Settings, Specific Settings, and Advanced Settings. And the windows IE 7 look is also here!!! There's no toolbar. Instead, you have a nice pop-up menu with all the tools and submenus needed.

Observations: Although I like the whole sparseness and minimalistic style, truth is, the application lacks so many buttons present in other applications, it's kind of disorienting.

Overall: The application is fast, no doubt about it. I'd say, Firefox 2X. As I've stated before, the lack of buttons, although adds space to the window, makes the user interface more difficult. The active search in the browser bar is excellent, and the fact one can select which search engine to use talks marvels about Google. Nonetheless, it is still a Beta version... B-

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