September 3, 2008

Polishing Up the Chrome

Google has their own browser! Yes, you heard me, a new Google browser has hit the streets as a beta :) And what’s more, it seems to be mostly faster and better than the existing crop of stable browsers …

The new browser, named Chrome, has been built from the ground up with the latest web technologies in mind. So, each tab in the browser, as well as every task/process within each tab, is it’s own thread. What this means for most users is that the whole browser does not lock up because one site on one tab has issues or is busy. In fact, in using Chrome, I found this difference to be crucial because the browser performance was super smooth for each and every tab I was working with.

If that wasn’t enough, Chrome also appears to be ahead of the pack with regards to standards support. While most of the existing stable versions of browsers aren’t doing so well on the Acid3 test, (and no, don’t bring up the browsers that do pass the test :p), Chrome appears to score about 79 out of 100 on the Acid3 test whereas the latest FireFox (3.0.1) manages only about 71 out of 100. And that’s better than how IE fares 😀

Of course, there’s one thing funny with the how Chrome handles the Acid3 test, it seems to take longer and the score isn’t always the same – it’s almost as if the test was created for single-threaded browsers and the multi-threaded nature of Chrome throws the test off somehow …

Additionally, Chrome imports bookmarks, site passwords, browsing history, and a host of other information from FireFox and so, if you use FireFox, once you start using Chrome, it’s almost as if you’ve not changed browsers at all. All your previous settings and browsing history is all intact.

I won’t go into all the other great features of Chrome, especially the address bar which does FireFox‘s nifty new address bar one better, but the one thing I do miss is the ability to extend the browser using extensions, as is possible with FireFox. I haven’t checked yet to see if Chrome supports extensions/plugins but I sure do hope it does …

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