Thursday, November 5, 2009

Faster Surfing with Google Chrome

Technology Review

GoogleChromeIt doesn’t happen very often that I talk about a non-Microsoft product, but  today’s an exception.

I’d read about Google Chrome, their web browser, and wanted to try it out.  Last week I downloaded and started using it. 

The first thing I noticed was that the software and page load load times are noticeably and substantially better than Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) 8.  Keep in mind, I use two different operating systems.  My notebook is loaded with Microsoft Vista SP 2 Home Edition, while my home desktop has Microsoft Vista 64-bit SP 1 Ultimate Edition with Media Center. The desktop has two version of IE: the 32-bit and the 64-bit.  The sad part of all of this is that none of the IE versions on any of the computers compete with the Google Chrome in software nor page load times.

Aside from load times, I love the built-in spell-check features of Chrome.  This is useful when filling out text on web forms, like comments sections of a blog.  Chrome automatically underlines the misspelled word and allows me to click and replace with the correct word.  I no longer have to write my comments, posts, or other text in another editor to check spelling before posting it online.

image As to visual appeal, you’ll find various themes available to provide a blank-tab background, as well as title bar customized feel to the browser. You can see this in the screen shot of my browser to the left.  You’ll also notice that the most visited sites are represented by thumbnails and links, along with links to the recently closed tabs in a separate section below the thumbnails.

If you’re using an older browser, you may not be familiar with the idea of tabs.  This is a feature that’s available in all the latest versions of Chrome, IE, and Firefox.  The idea is that you don’t open multiple instances of your browser, but use the same browser and open multiple tabs to various or the same sites.  This way your Windows Task Bar isn’t cluttered with icons of opened browsers.

I have noticed one bug in the software so far.  At times, Chrome tells me a page is unavailable when I follow a link to a site from my email.  I’ve noticed this enough times that I decided to test out the validity of the message.  I opened the same link in both IE and Chrome.  Only Chrome gave me this message.  I even cleared the CACHE to make sure I wasn’t looking at a CACHED page. No luck there either.

I’ve not yet reported this to Google, but posted comments on Twitter and Facebook asking others if they’ve experienced a similar problem.  So far, nothing. It may be time to contact Google!

Overall, I’d highly recommend switching, or at least trying, Google Chrome.

What Do You Think?

Have you tried Google Chrome?  What do you think of it?  Feel free to comment below.