- Download Google Chrome
- Overview of Google Chrome
- Comic - The story behind Google Chrome (a bit technical but strongly recommended)
And now, time for a quick review after two hours of browsing with Chrome! My apologies in advance for the occasional technical remarks that might be boring to you.
My overall feeling for Chrome is that it's a stripped-down version of Firefox plus the Webkit (Safari) rendering engine plus some Opera designs (the tabs on top, the start page etc). And oh ya, the incognito (private) browsing from IE8.
The design and browsing experience feels so much like Firefox, at times I even forget that I am in a different browser. The only time the difference shows is when the webpage rendering differs from my expectation, e.g. the big "B" in my ReCom signature (it's small in Firefox but big in IE and Safari), or the chatbox in ReCom.
I can't help but to sense the irony in seeing Chrome as a stripped-down version of Firefox: Firefox was the stripped-down version of Mozilla suite when it first began before it gained all its fancy bells and whistles and when the bloat and memory complaints began to pour in. And now with Chrome, I can't help but to ask whether we are going through another cycle of "strip down and bloat over time" process again. In the few hours that Chrome is released, I have already seen discussion threads in various places asking for this and that feature to be added to Chrome. Eerm.
Of course no review of Chrome would be justified without mentioning its multi-threaded processing feature. So far I haven't seen any obvious advantage or problems from this distinct programming approach, and I think it will take time before we could ascertain the difference this will make.
Now for the minuses. The lack of extensibility is first sorely felt with the reappearance of advertisements throughout the Internet. ReCom, Digg, Sinchew and so on. After using adblock in Firefox all the while, I have grown so unfamiliar with what ads look like. Apart from the adblock, there are other features that I would sorely miss including Greasemonkey, Forecastfox, Answers.com extension, and hey, the very new and cool Ubiquity from Mozilla Lab! Now there are rumours that Chrome may eventually allow extensibility, but to what extent this will affect its speed, stability and the "streamlined-ness" remains a contentious topic.
There are also some problems with scrolling. The lack of smooth scrolling is quite detrimental to the browsing experience - and hey, talk about things we take for granted in Firefox, IE, Opera etc.
Last but definitely not least: what the hell happened to RSS support?
UPDATE: After one hour of usage, Google Chrome crashed for no obvious reason. Unfortunately, it did not live up to its "kill one tab, save the whole browser" claim - the whole browser had to be ended and restarted.
Overall, Google Chrome provided an excellent albeit slightly-limited browsing experience for me, and considering that it's the first public beta version, I would give it a score of 9.5 out of 10. However, for the time being I will still stay with Firefox due to the reasons listed above and my familiarity with this beloved browser. :)