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Saturday, September 20, 2008

ALL you wanted to know about Google Chrome, and more!

It's been a while since Google Chrome was launched and the web filled with reviews, tweaks & random comments made by every other person. So I decided to dig out stuff I read & found very useful.

For those who are still asleep, happily using Firefox, (or Internet Explorer??!!) Google launched their own browser a few days back, named Google Chrome. And like any other Google Product, it did stir the online community. Some went "Awww" over the looks, some were impressed by the new "A Process for each tab" feature. Some were dissapointed by the initial lack of add-ons (Or extensions). But alot has been going on since the release!

So, like everyone else in my campus, I also installed Google Chrome. First look at Chrome, and I went "AAaahh! Coool!". The minimalistic design (Few buttons on the top, a statusbar that appears only when needed, sweet downloads bar..) is just what you were expecting from Google (And the theme too!). Minutes later, I was watching the Tabs smoothly float around (and fade into a new window and then slip/dock back into the main window). During all this random time-pass, I opened my GMail account (Yes, Gmail works better on Chrome!) & my blog, and both opened fine. Unlike IE, my blog looked just the way I wanted it to, and I was happy :D

Next I noticed the list of processes, which now had a couple of chrome.exe (One for each tab + one for the browser + other(s) for plugin(s)). "Dumb.. they are all same name", I thought. And then came the reply, "Duh.. That's why there's a Task Manager inside Chrome." And trust me, it's a really useful feature! (Oh the shortcut key is - Shift + Esc, similar to that of Windows Task Manager - Ctrl + Shift + Esc.. Smart!). Then there's the Incognito mode, for getting the privacy you need, and the Application Shortcuts which allow you to use websites like other "Applications" from your desktop (you'll need Google Gears for this though!) and much more. All in all, a pretty good deal!

Soon after Chrome was launched, people from all over the world came up with reviews, suggestions, tweaks & applications to improve the browser experience.

Here are some of My favorite ones: (Check out the links to know more!)

  • Check out the "Inspect Element" Feature (Right click on Page, select Inspect Element). For ex, you could check out the different properties of each of my Blog's div elements! Really helpful for developers!

  • Notice that the New Tab shows thumbnails of most visited, recently visited and recently bookmarked sites, along with last closed tabs & search engines you prefer. Try browsing a bit to make the best use out of this feature!

  • Place websites in the Bookmarks Bar, which shows up only when you need it ;)

  • There are some Keyboard (and Mouse) Shortcuts too! There are some you already might be familiar with, like Ctrl+T for new tab, Ctrl+Tab (and Ctrl+Shift+Tab) for cycling through Tabs etc. And then there's Shift+Esc for Task Manager, Ctrl+Shift+N for Incognito Mode etc. Want more? Check out this post on Lifehacker! And read this to add more custom keyboard shortcuts! And this to switch tab using mouse wheel!

  • Carry the new browser in your pen drive! Here's an (unofficial) Portable version (English) of Chrome!

  • Keep Separate Profiles, back them up via Google Chrome Backup.

Click here to see more tips & links!

And click here to see what others had to say about the "First Impression of Google Chrome" on them!

Not yet convinced? Still sticking with Firefox? (If you're still using IE, atleast shift to Firefox!) Here are some links for you then:

Best features of Chrome, now in Firefox & Opening Sites in Chrome from Firefox.

* Phew *

That's the best I could squeeze from my recent surfing ;) So what are your comments about Google Chrome? Tried it or not? Liked it or not?

Do Add a comment! :)


Parag Gupta said...

Stuff which I really like

The Home Page.
Pretty insightful and gives you almost everything you might wanna see at first sight.
Its updated without a refresh, plus the Recently Closed Tabs section is very handy.

The In-built Task Manager
It considers tabs as tasks and even if one of them hang or do some shit, say because of some malicious code or a plugin, only that tab will stop responding and you could close that easily

Its Smooth
Everything has proper transitions and are not too hard.

No ActiveX warnings Like IE

The History and Download Sections
They are a totally new concept giving a feel, as if we are still surfing the internet.

Stuff I Didn't Like:
The Scroll button scroll does not work yet :(

Many of the flash websites fail to load. They might want to redo that part. Or maybe a fix is already out, but flash fails to work at times.

RaSh said...

@Parag: I agree about the Transitions part... really nice!
Didn't really get the scrolling part though.. mine scrolls properly :)

Oh & just for fun, check out Inspiration behind Google Chrome's Logo!! Here & here!

Ruben said...

Google Chrome rocks! The infinite pro's .. you said it all in your blog. :)

My personal opinion: Chrome > FF >> Opera >>> IE

RaSh said...

@Ruben: Thnx for the comment! :)
And I kind-of follow a similar order.. though I guess you could fit in Safari somewhere (>>IE?) too..

Anyway for the time being, it's Chrome for me \m/

RaSh said...

PS: Updated post to Hide/Show the extra links.. I guess not everyone likes a huge post :D

PPS: If you are using Google Chrome, notice the Grey placeholder on the bottom right of the comment form? Drag it to enlarge the comment field.. Another nice feature of Chrome!

Sameer said...

i didn't try it for now..we got limited bandwidth(so me still waits for some cd to show with google chrome) but i couldn't get the point how's it really better than firefox...

some bells and jingles here and there might be cool and it might be really cool for developers..
dunno,just throw some light on how much cpu power it takes with 2 tabs open.or how and when it hangs(i know firefox can be really doggy at times:))

mindflo said...

Hello everyone!

I love using Google Chrome, and I'm sure you all love it as much as I do. I love it so much that I made a website dedicated to scoping out and collecting the latest themes from designers and developers all over the internet. If anybody is interested in giving Chrome a new look, check out my site now - ! ENJOY!

Chrome Valley

Uncle Richard said...

When I open a new tab I want control passed to that tab immediately. If there is an option to do that, where is it?

media boy said...

it's funny, the more i use Chrome, the more unstable it seems to get... crashes a lot more, can't handle sites with flash, hangs every time i close a tab... all that to say, i'm switching back to Firefox

RaSh said...

Apart from looks, more workspace etc, there's a significant difference in the memory footprint. At the moment, Chrome is taking 120 MB for 8 tabs, but it'll take the same even if i keep it on for 2 days. Firefox, on the contrary, doesn't reuse the space freed by closing a tab very well, so open it for 5 hours and it'll go upto 300MB with only 6-7 tabs (Hover mouse on the line where I wrote about the process chrome.exe and check the comparison!)
And the setup is pretty small, so good enough for low bandwidth net too ;)

@mindflo: Really nice themes! But make sure you do give credit to those who made those themes! :P

@Uncle Richard: For me, some sites get focus (For ex, those links that open from GMail get auto focus) where-as some don't. Will post about a tweak as soon as I find one :)

@Media Boy: As Parag mentioned, there's some problem with the Flash sites.. but then atleast it doesn't make you restart your browser!
Infact I'll be trying Chrome for one more week and then deciding about shifting completely (or not!)

RaSh said...

Update:Google Chrome to Support Add-ons!
Check out the news on InformationWeek!

Anuj said...

This baby has to be one of the better options out there. I love it due to the fact that it includes the best from almost every major browser out there be it Firefox, Safari or Opera. It's the best of all those worlds. It's almost like magic, it's simply phenomenal, and yes, I don't think that this is something bad. It might actually make several people finally switch from IE thus effectively confinig Redmond to the dustbin of history. Is that something bad? In any case, life is often like what picasso said "good artists copy; great artists steal".

Forget the omni bar, forget that shiny glean and just think of the possibilities for such a platform. The real thing to watch out for is what they plan to do with chrome 5 years down the line; will it become a sort of cloud computing portal? Will they finally take Google Docs to the next level? Will their new robust browser-website integration change the face of the internet?

Everything considered the future looks quite bright and shiny for chrome; anyone up for buying Google stock?

PS: Someone has just read about the title attribute of the span tag. It kinda gets annoying after a while, but on the other hand I like it.

RaSh said...

"..effectively confinig Redmond to the dustbin of history."
That's not bad at all :D

So you now up for buying Apple AND Google stocks.. smart smart!

PS: The title thing is something i've been doing since the starting.. When I get bored while writing a post, I add another span :D

Anuj said...

Only if I had the cash rash.

Hey that rhymes!

RaSh said...


Bug said...

check this out for a fun little review if you still aren't convinced on chrome!!

RaSh said...

Hey thnx for sharing the link Bug! Really nice article :D

Keep reading my blog ;)

Mainak said...

Rash!! u seemed to have completely converted me!! Now itz Chrome all the way!! Three cheers for chrome :)

RaSh said...

@Mainak: lol
Just for the info, IE 8 RC is coming out soon. So be ready for another switch ;)

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