Google Chrome – my 2 cents

Well as everybody else seems to be blogging about Google Chrome, thought I wouldn’t miss the boat.  Maybe I can be a webometric statistic, if not a day late.  But I was busy having my first day as a PhD student yesterday, it started with me having to give a presentation of VideoTag, nothing like being thrown in at the deep end.

So I have been playing with Google Chrome, I have noticed it’s a lot quicker opening, Firefox takes an eternity, I can go make a cup of tea while that loads.  My iGoogle page with all my rss feeds loads instantly, again it takes a few attempts in Firefox and I see little description pop ups that Firefox never got round to loading.  It easily imported all my bookmarks and history from Firefox.  But, as I’ve noticed other people have commented on, it imported my passwords too, whilst this is handy for me, I get the browser to remember them anyway and I did have to enter my username to match the remembered password, this is a security breach for shared computer users.  The history is very easy to access, maybe a bit too easy, again for shared computer users.  There’s no way to delete just one entry it seems.  One thing I like is the incognito mode, in fact I really like that, obviously just for those times when planning surprise birthday parties like Google suggests!  I like the idea I can browse secretly without every Tom, Dick and Harry knowing what I’m looking at.  Do you reckon Google keep a sneaky record of incognito browsing?  Would they be allowed to do that?  Mind you the sites will still get my IP address, nothing’s private anymore, good old data trails!

One thing that it doesn’t seem to have, that I have found annoying, is the drop down on the address bar so I can quickly access the sites I have recently typed in.  I use this a lot when developing websites as I always have this long convoluted test address that I type in and change page names etc.  I have to type the first few letters and I get suggestions, either from Google, my history, or have the ability to search Google, I guess that’s OK, I like to be able to do things with mouse clicks though.

Another nice touch is the visualisation of my most visited pages – I can see at a glance how little time I’ve spent working and how much time I’ve spent looking at a whole heap of other stuff!

I have realised playing with it, some things I was looking for, home button, Google toolbar are just for my browsing habits and actually Chrome makes the reason I used these things,to start a new Google search, a lot easier.  I also like the fact that it has broken the general software usability rule of having a bar at the top with file, edit etc I rarely use this, it is comfortable having it there and yes at first you do find yourself thinking “ah how will I print a page, or change my options without a handy bar at the top”, but you find out how to do it very quickly and easily.

All this said – actually I hate Google Chrome, VideoTag doesn’t work properly, the video doesn’t play, which means maybe the iframe musn’t be loading correctly, but the website I am currently developing uses iframes with no problems, so maybe it’s the object/embed tag, or the YouTube code?  Arghhhhh just when you think you’ve got to grips with browser compatibility between Firefox and IE, out comes a new browser to give you a challenge.  That was my main concern.  Safari and Opera have never really caused a problem.  I am sure most people out there will still be using IE anyway for a while to come.  Talking of iframes I do like the little pop up status at the bottom of the browser that tells you the location of the iframe page.  How useful that is, not sure, but I like it.

Also it looks like maybe I’m a nerd as I now realise through the task manager why iGoogle takes so long to load, 21mb in one page.  Ajax has a lot to answer for.  I like stats for nerds, that statement alone tells me there’s some data in there I may find interesting.  I was a bit disappointed actually, does that mean I am not nerdy enough to appreciate it, or am I so nerdy, the data wasn’t enough?

I will have to continue testing in Firefox too as I can’t live without firebug.  In fact I will still be using Firefox for a while I think, probably mostly out of habit, I may use Chrome to check my RSS feeds though.

I thought I’d check YouTube before panicking about VideoTag, turns out non of the videos play in YouTube either.  Now as Google own YouTube, seems that might have been one of the sites they made sure worked in their new browser!!!

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