I am generally an early adopter of new technologies and gadgets and today was no exception. I first heard of Chrome via the blog sphere a couple of months ago and was intrigued by it immediately. Earlier I installed Chrome and was immediately impressed with it's speed. Now given the fact that I have a TON of add-ons installed for Firefox, I cannot compare the start up times as Chrome has no add-ons.
Here are my first impressions:
- Very Very Fast - Using the ALL-in-ONE bar makes searching and browsing quicker. One feature of the Firefox Google search provider I have found most useful is the auto suggestion of searches I might be looking for. Now I can do this from the "Address" bar.
- Options - they are nice and simple, but are they too simple? I think Firefox does a great job with Options / Settings, having a good mix of basic and advanced settings. Firefox has the advantage that it makes new users feel comfortable in making a change and allows power users to gain even greater control. I do not see this with Chrome. Perhaps in the future.
- Add-ons - Where are they? Since it was built on top of Mozilla, I had hoped to see some add-ons or even some imported from Firefox. Hopefully Google will see the value to add-ons and implement them as well. Even the boys from Redmond have seen the light here, while there may not be many add-ons for IE8 yet, they are there.
Only time will tell if the market can handle another browser. While it might seem a pain in the ass for us developers, look at what the competition has done for us. 5 years ago there was only one real choice, Internet Explorer, as the others did not have enough share of the market. We all bought into this and actually became ok with either making two versions of a site or catering towards one browser over another. Now look at us, we are still providing CSS tweaks for browsers, but those are slowly but surely starting to go by the wayside. Firefox really helped this and has done a great job in chipping away at IE's market share. While Google has tried to tilt markets in other areas (Instant Messaging comes to mind), it has not always succeeded.
So what do you think about Chrome?
Ironically, I am writing this post in Firefox as Chrome did not render the TextEditor as a RTE, rather just a giant text area. Well it is only the first day after all.