My Five Months With Google Chrome

Om Malik wrote an interesting post about Google Chrome one month after the public launch. While I was reading Om’s post, I realized that I wrote a post for the Google Chrome release that I never published. I’ll include it here, and then let’s meet at the bottom and compare notes. :)

Like many Google engineers, I’ve been running Google Chrome for several months. When I sat down with a blank piece of paper to write down why you should try Google Chrome, I ended up with several reasons, including speed, security, stability, and openness. I’ll run through them for you.

Speed. Google Chrome is wicked fast, especially if you use AJAX/JavaScript-heavy web applications such as Gmail. And it’s not just “benchmark fast,” it’s end-to-end fast. Google Chrome puts special emphasis on never making the user wait. Opening a tab is essentially instantaneous, and all the little pauses that would normally interrupt your workflow just don’t happen. Of course, sometimes a remote web server is slow to return data–there’s nothing that a web browser can do about that–but for everything else, the browser speeds along like lightning.

When Gmail came out, it took me months to switch over. Before Gmail, I used mutt and I had all kinds of crazy customizations and wild procmail rules, so it took quite a while for Gmail to convince me to switch. In contrast, it took less than a week for me to switch to Google Chrome. It’s so scary fast that I felt like I was taking smart pills because of all the extra work and email I could blast through.

Security. As the head of Google’s webspam team, I prowl around some pretty hairy places on the internet. Almost every day I encounter hacked pages, malware, porn, and generally scuzzy pages. The security model in Google Chrome is much stronger than most other browsers I’ve used. I’ve surfed through hundreds of seedy back alleys of the Internet over the last several months, and Google Chrome has safely kept me from being infected or affected by the junky web pages I encounter.

Stability. I loved my previous browser (and still do!), but I got used to killing my browser and restarting it daily to prevent memory leaks from hobbling my machine. I’ve run Google Chrome for weeks at a time with bunches of open tabs and it hasn’t crashed on me or bloated up my computer’s memory. I also love that Google has a “ChromeBot” which takes each new browser build and throws (put your pinky finger to your lips) one million webpages at the build as a torture test. That testing virtually guarantees that everyday web pages shouldn’t crash your browser. Google Chrome has been rock solid for me.

Openness. You aren’t locked in to using Google’s search; you can choose to use any major search engine in Google Chrome. Plus, as you click around the web, you don’t send surfing information to Google. Google Chrome is open-source under a BSD license, so you can check that for yourself. The cool bits of Google Chrome, including V8 (a from-the-ground-up JavaScript virtual machine), are open for anyone to take and use.

The comic book. Still not convinced? If you’re a geek, read the 40-page comic book about Google Chrome. It’s genuinely educational about the design choices that Google made. It turns out that a comic is one of the best ways to introduce a large piece of new software:

Ben Goodger talks about the Omnibox

You’ve all heard the acronym “RTFM,” right? It stands for Read The *cough* Fine Manual. The next time someone asks whether Google Chrome uses WebKit or something else, I can say RTFC–Read The Fine Comic. :)

Okay, how well does that post hold up after a month?

On speed, I think Chrome really holds up well. Om’s comments are filled with people who got hooked on the speedy and nice Google Chrome browser experience. A couple people who didn’t like it only tried it for a day; I really think you need to give Chrome a few days (maybe a week) to really notice the end-to-end difference.

On security, I was impressed that so few security holes were found, and most of them required the user to take some additional action or involved social engineering. I have seen very few (no?) attacks like “surf to a random page and your browser gets pwned.” That’s really nice to see; I’m sure the Chrome team was anxious to see what would happen when the outside world tried to attack Chrome. Chrome has been quite robust for a web browser that was only recently released into beta. I continue to surf to really dangerous places with no resulting hijacks or malware.

How about stability? I always thought this would be the weakest point of the Chrome launch, and not because of web pages that would crash Chrome, but because it’s hard to test on a wide variety of real-world hardware when you’re trying to keep a product secret before releasing it. And again, I was surprised that so few things broke. The fact that the Chrome team has released four updates to Chrome in four weeks tells me two things: 1) the worst bugs are going to get knocked down pretty quickly and 2) the Chrome team is very serious about iterating to improve the browser.

Openness is an interesting one. I think the EULA issue caused a short-term goodwill hit. Google corrected the terms in about a day, but it still provided material for the people who dislike the fundamental notion of the Chrome browser. I have to admit that I was surprised that people objected to the “Suggest” feature when you’re typing into the address bar, but it’s good that Google reacted quickly on that one as well. I had a conversation with Danny Sullivan where he urged Google employees to try to look at Google as if they were outside the company and didn’t work for Google. It’s excellent advice and definitely provides a helpful perspective. Ultimately, I think that the open-source nature of Google Chrome’s code should reassure most people and win over fans with time.

And the comic book? I still think it’s a cool way to explain a lot of complex design decisions. :)

I’ve been watching the Chrome team work, and I believe that they’re going to earn the respect and loyalty of a lot of surfers over time. Their ability to execute reminds me of how the Google Reader team won me over a couple years ago. If you’re running Windows and haven’t taken it for a spin, if you try Chrome for 5-6 days, I think you’ll like it too.

75 Responses to My Five Months With Google Chrome (Leave a comment)

  1. Yeah, I also love google chrome now!
    Hope more to be improved soon!

  2. travis lane

    I’m impressed by Chrome’s speed and the direction it’s taking web browsers.

    However, I was very disappointed that the site Chrome performs WORST on is Google Docs–exactly the type of application-centered site it was designed for.

    For example, when you right click on a row/column header there is supposed to be a menu that allows you to do things like add a new row, cut and paste, etc. It just isn’t there on chrome–at all. Are you telling me no one on the Chrome team uses Google Docs? What happened there?

    ChromeBot may have checked for full-on crashes, but it can’t test usabilty and it looks like Chrome has a ways to go in that dept–even on Google owned sites!

  3. travis lane, are you talking about right-clicking in the spreadsheet? I think that issue has been fixed: http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=745 and it worked for me. Maybe you just need to try Chrome again?

    There is a site to report any bugs, glitches, bad translations, or other issues that you see like that: http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/

    There’s also a general help center with documentation at
    http://www.google.com/support/chrome/

    And a discussion group where folks talk at
    http://groups.google.com/group/chromium-discuss
    as well.

  4. RogerW

    @travis lane

    Works fine for me – I don’t think this is an issue with Chrome. Must be something with your own configuration or PC.

  5. Well… so far I’m not a fan of Chrome. Its simple and clean design are fine but perhaps I’m just too used to all the additional toolbars. While Chrome is supposed to be the quickest browser about I haven’t noticed any difference on this side. Granted we are all being hampered by poor connection speeds (South Africa has a single fixed line company!) but this is Chromes real vantage point at this time and unfortunately it just can’t deliver.

    I’m eager to see where Chrome will go however. Accepted that this is a Beta product (but then again, so is GMail?) so there may be many adjustments and changes made. I think once 3rd parties come to the party Chrome will be that more attractive.

  6. Robert, I think that extensions will be on the list (without any actual information or true insight, I’d guess that Mac/Linux would be just a bit higher on the list though).

  7. I have to admit that the comic won me over completely. I rushed to install it on my wife’s Windblows machine. (I’m on a mac so shame on Google but no chrome for me.) I went on about how she has to switch because it’s more secure and won’t crash blah blah blah. Well, I installed it and her mouse wheel will scroll down but not back up. It works fine in IE and FF but Chrome craps out. I reported it and will keep checking but it was very disappointing. I’m sure there is probably some fix for Windows but I don’t have the time to sit there trying to fix it.

    Other than that, I think it’s a very cool browser. Will take a little getting used to but it really is as quick or quicker than Safari which was the winner so far in my experience.

    Oh yeah, it’s also kind of crappy on Yahoo games for some reason. (can you tell what’s most important to her in a web browser?) I’m sure they’ll work it all out and I haven’t given up on it yet but I really do hope they get it up to snuff soon.

  8. Dave (original)

    Matt, IMO, Google Chrome must become as popular as IE before anyone can clame it’s more secure than other Browsers. I tend to lean toward open source software as less secure than a non-open source when comparing apples with apples.

    I still finding it is not so forgiving on some site pages where they haven’t used strict coding practices. E.g some Vbullentin forums it wont show JavaScript drop down menus.

  9. I downloaded chrome on the day of release but was slightly disappointed mainly due to fact of no SEO tools but reading your post I think I’m going to have another crack at it, especially after reading http://www.chromeplugins.org there seems to be some quite useful tools around

  10. @ Nick: Agreed, the comic was killer! Passed it about the office, all had a good laugh but learned something too.

    @ Dave: Spot on. I am actually tired of hearing how “secure” all non-microsoft products are. Reality is that most of the malicious code out there is aimed at the biggest market, in this case IE. I bet that if anyone invested some real time into finding the holes that many would be found.

    @ Matt: I would agree that getting it working on Mac/Linux is key at this point. While I don’t care much for the cult that now follows Mac (all those Macolites!) I think that Chrome is ideal for Linux. As a Linux fan I must confess that the clean slim look of Chrome is perfectly suited to Linux (where the bare bones code rules).

  11. For me, there are at least two knocks against Chrome that make it unusable.

    First, without adblock + flashblock, the web is unusable for me. I simply cannot read text when their is animation *anywhere* on the screen. Proxy-based adblocking isn’t good enough; DOM-level control is required, like AdBlockPlus on Firefox.

    Second, it needs a menu bar. Vista’s designers have wrongly thought that menu bars can be dispensed with, but it simply isn’t true. I don’t use a shortcut bar on any other browser, so I have this gaping open space in Chrome; but without a menu bar, the usability for me is very limited. Where’s the Bookmarks menu? (I use nested directories for categorizing my bookmarks.) Where’s my recently closed tabs menu? If I hide the shortcut bar, I no longer have access to shortcuts of *any* kind in Chrome.

    Even if the web were mercifully set free of ads and flash, the second point is still enough for me not to use the browser.

    Then of course, there are all the little things. I depend on mouse gestures for forward and backward navigation. I need easy http proxy switching for when I’m directly connected to the internet or tethered to my phone. I need BugMeNot to get into things like NYT without fuss. I need AllCookies for helping automate web site mirroring (and this is the reason I still also run Firefox 2).

    Chrome is a long, long way from maturity, for me at least, and needs to take some pretty fundamental changes to its UI for it to be usable to me.

  12. @Robert – Linux consumer-land (as opposed to server-land) has the biggest pile of crap code that ever purported to be usable. Bare bones code most certainly does *not* rule in Linux; half-implemented, somewhat overlapping, multiple buggy implementations of only the whiz-bang, non-boring features, are the order of the day.

    The economics don’t lie. For good work to be done, the incentives must reward good work. Unfortunately, without consumers paying, directly or indirectly (e.g. via ads, like Firefox), for the end-result of development, the incentives for consumer-land open source are warped towards whatever tickles developers’ fancies.

    The situation is different for server-side code (companies are directly injecting cash and labour here) and somewhat different for developer tools (the core tools themselves are reasonably good, if you don’t look too closely at the debuggers, IDEs, documentation, etc.).

  13. I use Chrome from the day it went live but i have found one weak point of it. Flash. When i open flash heavy sites, or flash streaming sites it starts to become unresponsive. And some of the streaming sites don’t have sound (checked with Firefox and worked well).
    I was thinking that memory is a bottleneck but i tried it both on my home machine with 4GB of RAM running XP64 and at work with 1GB of RAM running XP and the result is the same. Chrome and Flash won’t work well together. Did someone else experience this?

  14. Chrome became my default browser in record time (http://twitter.com/LesPorter/statuses/907909325) and it’s only crashed once for me (nice crash screen BTW). Chrome is relatively stable given what I’ve heard about the IE8 Beta 2.

    But this isn’t why I’m commenting. I enjoyed the Chrome comic book and contacted Scott McCloud on 9/2 to see if he does portraits in the same style as his comic. He said thanks, but no thanks. I thought I would share that in case anyone else got the same idea.

  15. @Lacisoft

    This problem with Flash is a known bug that has been addressed in the latest DEV release. Before I installed this release I would occasionally get Flash sites without sound (found if I killed the flash player in Chrome’s Task Manager and reloaded the page it then worked), but more annoyingly the plugin would also occasionally take 100%CPU, locking not just Chrome but my entire machine for one or two seconds.

    The DEV release seems to have fixed this, but I still find the Chrome stalls for a second or two when I close Flash heavy tabs, but at least the CPU is not being hammered.

    Nevertheless, I’m hooked on Chrome!

    Tom

  16. > Security. As the head of Google’s webspam team, I prowl around some pretty
    > hairy places on the internet. …
    > I’ve surfed through hundreds of seedy back alleys of the Internet over the
    > last several months, and Google Chrome has safely kept me from being
    > infected or affected by the junky web pages I encounter.

    Wouldn’t it make sense to use a separate machine for browsing those dark alleys of the web, perhaps to keep your other Google stuff secure? I don’t know, I’m curious.

    Another question: What do you *not* like about Google Chrome?

  17. I love Chrome and would love to make it my default…but it just won’t run Hotmail right (not proud for the hotmail admission but we’ve had a long personal relationship and I can’ bear to update all those contacts).

  18. Unfortunately, I could not switch chrome even though I genuinely tried hard.

    My productivity went very low because I am so used to use Mozilla.

    Its not the mozilla browser but the small add ons it has which has hooked me on to it. Which are not available for chrome.

    I Switched from IE to Firefox in a jiffy, but moving on from Firefox is proving impossible for me. Its such a great browser.

  19. Justin Long

    Chrome is fast but it is not always compatible even with Google Apps such as Gmail. For example, http://friendfeed.com/e/30b28573-dd0b-4772-b2bc-59c9d1ca48d0/I-just-discovered-that-if-in-Chrome-you-hit-the/ – there is a recurring bug with Chrome in Gmail when labeling a message – once you label the message, you have to click back into the message with a mouse before you can use the j/k speed keys to move to the next message. I count on speed keys to rapidly assess, label, and move to the next message. I’ve gone back to Firefox for my Gmail, though I use chrome for most everything else.

  20. Bart

    I like Google Chrome, and use it at work for nearly all my browsing outside of web-dev realted stuff but the killers for me are the fact that I can’t have addons (yet) and that many sites that have a Flash implementation, including YouTube get really really slow and sometimes nearly crash that process for the browser.

  21. I mostly agree with You, Matt. It’s fast and robust. It’s light, taking about 40% less memory compared to one other browser. What I’m missing, and lot of other people, is PR meter or full featured Google toolbar. Yes, its open, but not as much…

    Jack http://seoapplied.blogspot.com

  22. I have used Chrome straight since the day it came out. On occasion I will switch to FireFox for an add on, but only if I need that specific functionality. I have a Mac and I installed Windows Vista via bootcamp to try out Chrome. I have yet to reboot into the Mac OS now that I use Chrome for practically everything. Good job Google, Chrome rocks! :D Idk if this has been updated, but Gmail and Google Calendar could use some nicer application shortcut icons (like Google Documents).

  23. I find myself using an old PC laptop these days :(

    Chrome is fantastic and like many others can’t wait for a mac version

    Cheers

    David

  24. With you there David.

    Had to borrow one of the dinosaurs after my laptop failed and chrome is still ALOT faster than rivals

  25. Jared Watson

    Matt,
    Do you have any insight on the ‘AW Snap, This page cannot be displayed’ error.
    I have been doing some research on it because some of my pages create this error, which is not good for my customers adopting Chrome.
    It seems to be related to loading external scripts or css.

    There seems to be a lot of these types of complaints floating around, any word on a fix?

  26. Sam Hassell

    Matt, I think Chrome is a good start at a browser. That said, add extensions to the level Firefox has them and lets see where its at. I ran Chrome for a week and the lack of customisation is a deal breaker in a post-firefox world.

  27. I admit, I only tried it for a day.

    And I’ve been using it ever since!

    I switched from Firefox which I always had to restart.

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I manage to crash Chrome maybe twice a week, and it slows to a dead crawl at least a few times a day. But it’s easier to recover than Firefox ever was. And most of the problems are caused by Flash chewing all the CPU – and the nice thing is that I can kill that separately in Chrome, without having to kill the browser or the tab.

    I just wish Flash would play nicer. The last few releases of Flash have been terrible when running in Firefox (and Chrome I guess uses the same control). The IE version always seems superior, which sucks.

    Can Google please push SVG so we can kill off Flash completely and bring vector back inside the browser? ;)

  28. I don´t use the Chrome Browser. I am afraid abput some security and privacy issues. I have found a Chrome alternative the Iron Bworser.
    What do you think about it?

    Google Translation:

    “SRWare Iron: The browser of the future – based on the open source “Chromium” – without concern at the privacy and security

    Google’s Web browser Chrome thrilled with an extremely fast site building, a sleek design and imaginative features. The data protection practice, however, criticism, for reasons such as creating a unique user ID or the submission of entries to Google to generate Suchvorschlägen. SRWare Iron is a real alternative. The browser is based on the Chromium-source and offers the same features as Chrome – but without the critical points that the privacy concern.

    We could therefore create a browser with which you now features the innovative use without worrying about maintaining your privacy to have to do it.

    We want our users to participate in our work and make the browser free to download under the name “Iron SRWare” into the net.

    What makes Iron concretely unlike Chrome? ”

    http://www.srware.net/software_srware_iron.php

  29. I really like Chrome and my biggest issue from making the full time switch is the fact that I don’t have the Google Toolbar with my bookmarks, Gmail (new mail indicator), etc, built in.

    I use Chrome to keep a copy of my Gmail Inbox and Google Reader open all day. I’ve tried this with both IE and FF, but prefer Chrome hands down.

  30. spamhound

    I tried it and did not like it all compared to Explorer or Firfox.

    I’m just to used to using the other two and won’t be switching any time soon.

  31. On the openness issue — what about the reports that the “anonymization” involves removing only a few bits from IP addresses and not unlinking cookies? That doesn’t sound at all like anonymization.

  32. Thanks for the links to report bugs, Matt. I couldn’t even do this before in my version of Chrome because that kept crashing as well.

    There are three things that bother me about the reporting interface, though:

    1) The word “untriaged” to indicate a status. I haven’t ever seen this word before, and I suspect most others wouldn’t have either…even among those who would be tech-savvy enough to report a bug using this interface. Is there another word or short phrase that you could use here, perhaps?

    2) The large number of apparently confirmed bugs. I do realize that this is a beta product and that there are bound to be some things wrong, but according to my count (assuming I’ve interpreted the status correctly), there are 699 bugs which have been confirmed on at least some level.

    3) The publishing of partial email addresses for user names in some cases. This isn’t good mojo.

  33. After using Chrome, all I can say is “Firefox” rocks.

  34. Peter Kasting

    @Nick: The scrolling bug is fixed in the latest Google Chrome dev channel build (see below).
    @Lacisoft: As Tom Gleeson mentions, the latest dev channel build has a number of fixes for Flash and other plugin problems; it may help your issues.

    You can get onto the dev channel for updates by following the instructions at ttp://dev.chromium.org/getting-involved/dev-channel/ .

  35. I like it. I use it. The one thing I don’t like is that in some places, blog posts turn up empty (most noticeable on CNN.com) Maybe they have some bad HTML in there, but they work fine in FF and IE. Annoying to have to switch browsers to read a news story.

  36. “A couple people who didn’t like it only tried it for a day” – I’m one of those, I must admit. It’s not that I don’t like it, but I’m rather comfy in keep plodding on with my FF, with all my essential SEO/Dev addons in all the right places.

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but I don’t see a site full of addons like FF. That for me is the only reason I’m staying with FF, for now. Oh, that and the cute fox logo… I feel like I’d be going behind its back by converting to the da.. ermm.. chrome side. *insert Star Wars music here*

  37. Oh and as a side note (just because I though it was interesting), the company I work for, one of our British retail clients G Analytics data shows significant numbers use G Chrome!!! I was quite amazed to see this, especially when the demographic of their shoppers is taken in to account. God knows how you got them on board.

  38. Sami

    Love Google, want you to keep paying millions to Mozilla… Leave some stuff for the fish, don’t try to swallow all aspects of business just because you can. Long live Mosiac Killa.

  39. Matt, thank you for a great and honest review, even if a little biased perhaps. I also appreciate that you allow constructive comments even if different than yours. I have not installed or used Chrome yet, but as soon as I get off my houseboat and back at the house, I plan to install on a desktop used just for testing and feel comfortable trying it now. Especially after reading the comic..well written and informative BTW. Thank you for the link.

    Captain Dave

  40. I’m waiting for the Mac version and for plug-ins. Until then, I’ll sit on the sidelines.

  41. COP

    My ONE reason NOT to use:

    ********** Its WINDOWS based *************

    Come on dude.. you want the world to switch over to Windows to use Chrome. Sorry. Not happening.

  42. igor

    Old habits die hard.

    I’m not switching to Chrome. It has no advantage (other than speed maybe, but with broadband access that’s hardly an issue) over other browsers, especially Firefox. New design and getting used to layout, buttons, etc. doesn’t help either.

    It would have to be WOW for me and I suppose for millions of other users to make a switch. But that’s not even close to it.

  43. Dave (original)

    @ Dave: Spot on.Thanks. Careful though, Multi-Worded Adam (Bill’s, grumpy lap dog) might call you a “complete idiot” for agreeing with me :)

  44. Dave (original)

    @ Dave: Spot on.

    Thanks. Careful though, Multi-Worded Adam (Bill’s, grumpy lap dog) might call you a “complete idiot” for agreeing with me :)

  45. Matt,

    Find one of your old laptops that runs windows xp and has only 256 MB memory on it. Install Chrome and open some Youtube videos (one is enough), open up some other pages including Google analytics, and also open a spread sheet and outlook.

    Then have fun with Chrome, switch between tabs and see your screen getting updated really slow…. switch between full screen youtube and normal youtube, etc.

    Not to complain or anything, but even though IE is slower, it doesn’t initiate 20 second pauses.

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Chrome a lot, I used it all the time. But firefox or i.e. are still needed. And it has a huge problem with swapfiles!!!

  46. I love the look and speed of the new Google chrome browser however there aren’t enough plugins/add-ons currently available. Does Google have an official site dedicated to plug-in support for the browser?

  47. I switched to Chrome almost immediatly and have not turned back. As Gmail (Google Apps) is open on my desktop 24×7 I really like the speed in which Chrome whizzes around my emails.

    I do unfortunately suffer one painful problem with Chrome and that is with the Prefetch function. What I think is happening on another site which I have open 24×7, Netvibes.com, is that there are simply too many links on the page and the Prefetch function simply has a heart attack. This does require me to kill the tab and very occasionally the entire browser.

    Overall I love Chrome and have not felt the need to go back to Firefox at all. EVEN without having access to my beloved Firefox extensions!

    Nice one Chrome team!

  48. I really enjoyed reading the comic and learned alot about how Chrome works and why things were done like they were. I can easily tell how much faster it is as compared to IE and FF. I think the bookmarks needs a better UI and controls. Overall I think its great for a BETA product. like other commenters I feel it really needs some add ons, especially tools for webmasters. A great place to start would be Google’s own toolbar. I also miss the menu bar. Why not make it hidden and use a hotkey to make it visible like IE 7 uses? This way it would maintain its nice clean look.

  49. Matt, still some need for other browsers here:

    1. IE for the Google Toolbar and PageRank Visibility. Not that PageRank matter in terms of traffic but it is nice to see which grey hat media sites got downranked manually. Makes discussions with grey hats much more efficient.

    2. FF for Youbube. Some pages still crash with Chrome + Youtube, sending bug reports where it is needed

    But: Chrome is great, fast, and has some nice features we’ll see soon at IE, FF and elsewhere.

  50. michael

    “dude, where’s my chrome serial number?” the one that uniquely identifies me to google? I want to tattoo it to my arm and put it in an rfid chip inserted under the tattoo. I love the fact that google knows everything about my browsing habits and want to share more with them.

  51. Matt,

    You may want to add one more link to the list that you have in your post:

    http://build.chromium.org/buildbot/snapshots/chromium-rel-xp/

    For those running XP64 and that see crashes whenever you click “Options” or the bug reporting tool, download the Mini_Installer from Version 1974 and it should work fine. It did for me anyway.

    I’m personally still not overly impressed with the browser itself (it’s severely lacking in options, specifically the ability to turn off the silly Windows Vista-esque minimize/maximize/close buttons and the lack of a proper menu bar), but at least now it’s finally stable.

  52. Cnt ait for Google Chrome to go live for us Mac users. I use a PC at work and just had to take a look at all the new facilities it offers its users, and I am just blown away by the speed of browser. There is just one browser and its Chrome. I cant believe I said that but its true, firefox is only being used by me till its launched for the MAc world. It cant come quick enough.

  53. Cant wait for Google Chrome to go live for us Mac users. I use a PC at work and just had to take a look at all the new facilities it offers its users, and I am just blown away by the speed of browser. There is just one browser and its Chrome. I cant believe I said that but its true, firefox is only being used by me till its launched for the MAc world. It cant come quick enough.

  54. I have been using Chrome exclusively both at work and at home, and only use Firefox and IE when needed to overcome some of the shortcomings of Chrome (there are still a few sites that need the older browsers).

    Please don’t let anybody take it away! It’s great!

  55. Yep; another here on the Chrome bandwagon. I use nothing else now. I can’t find any pages that don’t load up either. Maybe I got an exceptional download somehow? :D Don’t know…. but the damn browser is the bomb. I don’t give a hoot about toolbars as I don’t use any of them anyway. What good are toolbars when all they do is spy on you? All I need is the search box/address bar and I’m good to go. I suggest to not add on to the browser at all except for very minor bug fixes.

  56. spiderman05

    I have tried Chrome since day 1 as well. I was impressed by the speed the first days I used it. Though, it did not become my default browser and I will keep using Firefox for the following reasons:

    - There is no port for Linux yet.

    - Absence of extensions.

    - The browser is way too chromeless for my taste. I spend between 10 to 15 hours everyday inside the browser and Chrome’s UI looks so thin to the point of being depressing at times,

    - Management of stored passwords is just unacceptable in Chrome. The browser does not allow users to protect and encrypt their passwords using a master password.

    - I have also experienced the scrolling problem. The browser is not very responsive/snappy when it comes to page scrolling and is slower that FF and IE.

    - Displaying the recently visited sites whenever the browser is fired up is an annoyance for me and the only way to go around this problem seems to erase all browsing history.

    Chrome has a good potential, but as some others wrote it has still a long way to go to compete with other established browsers.

  57. One functionality that I’m pretty annoyed about is with the downloading feature with Chrome. Half the time it hangs and the file doesn’t download. Some of the times it’s done downloading but it just won’t open.

    I guess while I’m at it, when I right click to try to open up a link into another tab, at times, when I do click to open up the tab, it doesn’t work. I’ll have to right click again…

  58. Matt, what was your previous web browser?

    I did try Chrome for a few days immediately after its launch, but changed back to FireFox after a week of having to open a new tab in order to restore a tab that I’d accidentally closed. Chrome also assumed that I wanted to close a tab when I middle-clicked on one, but changed my mind and dragged my mouse away before releasing the middle button.

    Both assumptions were crippling for a person who makes these kinds of mistakes all the time. Chrome is unforgiving on this aspect. FireFox, in its freshly-installed state is just as painful to use, but when installed with added extensions that allows me to easily reverse stupid missteps on my part, it is still the browser of my choice.

  59. For speed and performance, right now, Chrome can not be beat and I’m actually using quite specifically and still using Firefox for some of the addons I really quite like.

    The true test will be in a year – when I’ve got Chrome doing what I want it to do and Google have done what they have to do to it to allow the development.

    Firefox used to be a lot quicker than it is and it never used to be so resource hungry .. I actually find IE faster than Firefox now but the addons I get with Firefox still make it my primary browser … for now.

  60. I too love Google Chrome to some extent. But, they still need to improve a lot. Currently, If we open multiple tabs sometimes it either crashes or slows down a lot. Hope they will fix all these bugs & make lot of improvements to take it to the number one slot. Cheers to Google…

  61. Hi Matt,

    I do think there are three big issues with Chrome at this point, as I posted (and you called out) on GigaOm’s post (see my review here http://cli.gs/9L7vq8)

    Flash continues to be an issue, although I read that on the dev version you’ve at least isolated this. I find Chrome less and less capable of browsing video sites like YouTube, etc, and this is a big issue for many.

    Second, Mac version. Everyone I know asks me when oh when is the Mac version available.

    Third is extensions, and mainly (for me) Firebug.

    In regards to look and feel, toolbar, bookmarks, I want to tell you don’t change anything. It gets some time to get used to it, but really, you don’t need all that real estate for something you won’t use or miss after you get the hang of it.

  62. I’ve been using Chrome continuously since it was released. I have not filed any feedback (I know you asked people to do that in the Google Group, so I am only posting this here for discussion, not as feedback) because I want to see how much of what I do is not being done by other people.

    Apparently, I am the only person using Chrome who wants to watch videos on CNN (you cannot do this with Chrome).

    It’s a pretty useful browser but still hangs up now and then. I think the speed with which it executes is its biggest strength. But I have to admit that I’m starting to get addicted to the visual history that is displayed when you open a second tab. It’s a pity that history doesn’t appear for the first tab.

    There are still some minor annoyances that I thought I would get used to, so the UI could use some tweaking.

    Overall it provides a much better browsing experience than FireFox (horribly designed browser) and Internet Explorer (another horribly designed browser). I haven’t used Safari in a long time, so I’ll probably stick with Chrome for the foreseeable future.

  63. j0nyd

    Chrome the Comic…. SOON to be followed by CHROME THE MUSICAL!!!!
    =)
    … honestly the jury’s still out. I like the ideas (speed, stability, security…), now I’ve just got to talk myself into ditching EITHER IE or Firefox…. hmmmmm. Too bad Google didn’t think of this earlier, it’d make the whole brand loyalty thing easier to deal with!

  64. Good article Matt, and all the users are posting some good information. I am doing my best to use Chrome as often as possible, and one limitation I see is its ability to handle video clips that open in the browser (not necessarily embedded clips). I’m sure things will improve as time goes on.

    However, I do wonder why Chrome appears to be behind in the WebKit versions. Any thoughts?

  65. I really liked Google Chrome but there is lot more to be added yet.

  66. Is ChromeBot in the wild, or is it an internal tool only? If it’s in the wild what is the user agent please? Thanks.

  67. Chrome has a long way to go:
    1) Get accepted by the masses
    JVC won the video war thanks to adult movies, whereas Sony and Philips had more advanced technologies.
    What does Chrome bring for adult entertainment?
    2) Get developers on their side and businesses that require applications
    Google sells to businesses an advertising system
    Google markets by giving services for free to the consumer/users
    Chrome needs to be promoted to businesses and developers.
    3) A web service is something different than a software development platform.
    A web service is running out of sight on servers, a development platform is in front of clever people.
    Manuals and support are important.
    Does Google have experience in these matters? Microsoft has.

  68. I have been using Google chrome to solve internet explorer problems. Why try and fix the problem when you can just install Google chrome for free.
    This is how I started using Chrome, however now I am thinking of dropping IE for good. It has passed the test for me.

  69. I love the simplicity of Chrome, but I had to go back to FireFox after using Chrome for about a week. I am an Aaron Wall wannabe, so I have SEO Quake installed for FF, and nothing like that is available yet for Chrome. Also, I have about 20 to 40 tabs open at any given time. Though I like how tabs open up right next to the page you’re on, the speed at which the pages load between tabs is just not nearly as quick as firefox. This was disappointing, as I have heard about Chrome’s superior speed. However, it just doesn’t compare to FireFox when there’s a lot of tabs open. I have no doubt that this will eventually be my browser of choice, but right now I have to stick with FireFox for these reasons.

  70. I’d love to use it more…but when are we going to get more plugins….that is the main reason holding me back. I use so many of the Firefox plugins on a daily basis that it would be very inefficient for me to switch to Chrome.

  71. I personally see Chrome as decent, but Firefox is so much better. Chrome needs to fix the zoom for each page. It needs a feature that allows you to save your setting for zoom.

  72. i tested out chrome i would say a month ago and i loved every bit of it, BUT i could not use it for one simple reason, buggy as hell, when i say buggy i mean from the load speed to the tabs getting stuck and not closing or closing with a delay. as much as i love the simplicity, i just cannot use it for these reasons, im sure others have had the same issues and google will soon fix it with their next update.

  73. I wish someone tell me what is the idea behind chrome?!

    If the core is almost the same as Firefox? where is the end-user value added?

    Wish some one till

  74. GBM

    I was wondering . . . I’ve been using Chrome and Internet Explorer side by side for 5 months now. My Internet Explorer was pretty fast when I first installed Chrome but now 5 months later when I go back to using Internet Explorer it is sooooo slowww, like sometimes I can’t even get a page to open for 60 seconds. Can someone tell me what’s happening ? Does Chrome have some backend stuff going on that hampers IE so it’ll make the user switch over to Chrome for good ?

  75. I use a variety of browsers, as you said some of them slow down with loads of tabs and drink your memory.

    I like Google chrome, mainly because of its speed its also very fast at loading even when the computer is chugging along at a ridiculous speed.

    Some online CMS systems i use when building my websites are a bit iffy with Google chrome, i have a wysiwyg editor which is temperamental with Google Chrome. Other than that I don’t have any I don’t have any problems with it.

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