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Google Chrome

So, Google made a new browser. Curious to see what the fuss was about I downloaded it to have a look.

Woah.

It’s fast. I mean really fast. The first impressive thing it did was import everything from Firefox. I have a google keyword search set up in firefox, meaning I can type “g blah” in the address bar and do a google search for “blah”. Chrome managed to pick up on this, plus it has the ability to automatically detect site searches. Do a search on Amazon and any time you open a new tab, type “a” then tab, you’ll be able to do an amazon search in the address bar.

Looking through the comicbook which talks about Chrome, I like the idea of every tab being a separate process. Chrome has a process explorer that lets you view the CPU and memory usage of each tab, and kill non-responsive ones. The idea is that one crashed tab doesn’t take the entire browser down with it. Neat. Add to that the whole sandboxing concept for each application/tab and popups that only show up within their parent tab, and you’ve got a pretty stable annoyance free browsing experience.

More cool stuff. It’s pinched the awesomebar idea from Firefox, and I think this is a good thing. It’s also got the Opera-a-like feature of speed dial when you open a new tab, giving you thumbnails of your most visited pages. There’s also an incognito browsing mode, which opens up a window in which no tab is allowed to write any information, bookmarks / cookies / history etc. There’s also a reasonable javascript console for web devs. A bit like firebug.

And did I mention that it was fast?

There’s two things missing. Adblock and mouse gestures. If they invented these for Chrome, I’d actually switch from Firefox for a bit. I’d probably end up missing a few things, like Yslow, but I’m sure that I’d get used to that. Whatever people say, another open source browser with really good ideas is very good for the market. People say that without Firefox, there would be no IE7. Lets hope that Chrome makes a similar impact on the browser scene.