As announced in their blog yesterday, Google released its open source web browser today at 12pm PDT. It is called Google Chrome (Beta). It was built with the help of components from Apple’s WebKit and Mozilla’s Firefox, and some others. It is only currently available on Windows; though they are working on the Linux and Mac versions supposedly.
I took it for a quick test run earlier and I can say its fast and “minimal” as to what they say. Although most of the key features are already in Firefox, I do like the “crash control”. Here are the ones that have been highlighted:
One box for everything — Web search. Web history. Address bar. Suggestions as you type. One unified box serves all your browsing needs.
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.
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.
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.
Importing 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.
Simpler downloads — No intrusive download manager; you see your download’s status at the bottom of your current window.
So after giving it a spin, would I use it in my daily workflow? Not quite yet. As noted, it is still in Beta and only available to the Windows-user demographic. It will be interesting to see where it goes for sure, or how people react to it as it approaches more and more to mainstream. That, and how Google would market it with their other applications and services.
That being said, I overheard through the grapevine that Google’s intention for releasing this is due the fact that Mozilla Firefox makes 85% of its revenue through Google Search. It does makes sense though. Whether that is totally true or only partial, its still a good idea if that’s the case. Why make someone else money when you keep that money for yourself—right?
Another question that came to mind was: is it bad for everyone else, the everyday users? Not quite… yet. Unless everyone has been following Google’s blog, or are technically savvy and keep track of Tech news, the reach of Google Chrome’s release would most likely be by word of mouth between those in the Tech industry (for now). But when it does make its stake in the browser market share, it can be bad and good at the same time. Bad, that there will be another browser to add to the list to support and care for by websites. And good, that it can be the one true browser to rule them all1.
Last but not least, with regards to memory use, Firefox is undoubtedly the winner. But this might be arguable as can be noted in Chrome’s feature set. That is, its ability of “crash control” which makes each tab load its own process, rather than a sole Chrome process like that of IE and Firefox.
Will there ever be one? I really don’t think so. That’s what’s good and bad about Technology, there’s always improvement to be done and it is widely open for everyone to innovate. [↩]
Referring to a computer that just has been turned on or restarted. [↩]
Be sure to check this visualization plugin (for most “modern” browsers). It gives a nice way to navigate through photos (i.e. flickr, google image results, etc.) and videos (i.e. youtube). Not too shabby indeed.
It seems that I am finding Google Calendar (currently being referred to as gCal by technopiles) an alternative to Outlook lately. Even though I wish that Google would finish up implementing some kind of syncing between gCal and Outlook already. But luckily, there’s a “hack” that helps out in that side of things. I guess its enough to hold me down for a bit till something from Google comes about.
Supposedly, Google mentioned the availability of an “Account Authentication Proxy for Web Applications” feature that will be intergrated with their gCal API in late April… this past April in fact. I guess we’ll just have to wait for an update on Matias about that, or from Google regarding their own home-blended to-do list integration with gCal.
With the holidays steadily trucking its way for the new year, one should keep their environment free. This also helps you out so you don’t catch a cold or flu, and be bed-ridden when everyone is partying it up. I know this is common knowledge but people still forget—even me sometimes. Take for example this past Saturday morning while I was getting ready to play pickup-softball at Krusi Park.
I was on my way to my car when I just seem to forget an essential item, my shoes. I knew that I put it near the bar in the entertainment room area but I seem to not find it anywhere. I recall that I just left it there last weekend. Then I remember Biggy’s mom cleaning up and probably grabbed it along with the other shoes. To make a long story short, I found it later but used my sandals to go to the park and play. Lesson-learned, stay organized as it might save you some time and energy when you need it the most.
Meanwhile, back to Firefox extensions. So I was cleaning my room and stuff, and decided to do some maintenance on my PC as well. Did the usual Ad-aware, Anti-virus and Defrag workflow. Then, was enticed of upgrading my browser to 1.5 there too but later decided that I should keep my home-PC at 1.0.7 at the moment.
I then tried to see which extensions have updates, which led me to go and learn more about new extensions. After an hour or two of optimizing which extensions to take out, add and update, here’s what I think are necessity:
I hope these extensions become useful to you as they were for me. They totally make the Firefox experience better; not to mention, the improvement of efficiency and production in my workflow. I also noticed a lower CPU usage when I took out TBE and installed the four extensions above (TBP, Session Saver, Tab X and LastTab) instead.
So, there you go… Keep things organized. Keep things clean.
Just a few weeks ago, Mozilla released Firefox 1.5 RC3. This seems to be the same as the final release. So, if you haven’t converted yet (mostly IE6 users) nor have tried out Firefox, now is the time.
I finally decided to update my Firefox version from 1.0.7 to the newest 1.5. I will be implementing this on my work PC as it has the most extensions installed. This should be interesting.
Tabbrowser Extensions 1.14.2005092501 (New version: 2.0.2005113001)
View Rendered Source Chart 1.2.03
HTML Validator 0.7.6
IE Tab 1.0.5 (New version: 188.8.131.52)
Here goes nothing, or something. To be continued…
The striked-out extensions above were noted as incompatible with Firefox 1.5. Firefox Update automatically “disabled [them] until compatible versions are installed.” I then noted the newest, available version of the extension that is compatible with Firefox 1.5, as stated by Firefox Update.
Also to note, I needed to update my theme “Noia 2.0 (extreme)” as it was causing a display bug on the URL-address bar. This went from 2.88 to 2.991 and apparently fixed the display issue. This took a while to figure out. Maybe in the future, Moz-dev team can have a note to check one’s theme if there are any display issues being encountered.
All in all, the update went quite well. It seems that Firefox 1.5 loads a tad faster than its predecessor. I’m just bummed about not having some extensions: Sitebar Sidebar (which is my links depository) and Greasemonkey (which is one of the best extensions to have for a Firefox user).
Note: Greasemonkey 0.6.2 seems to be having bug issues at the moment. People have been addressing this issue, so there should be a fix soon. It’s probably going to roll out with version 0.6.4 of the extension.