Google Chrome is the new hype

It has been speculated for a long time that Google was going to enter the browser market, well on Sept 2nd they did with the launch of Chrome. Now there is lots written by the tech community on the launch about the pro’s and con’s of the new browser so I am just going to plot some of my thoughts.

My first thought is on browser support, Chrome adds yet another browser for developers to support. Well sort of. Google have built Chrome based on the WebKit, which is the rendering engine that Apple uses for Safari. So basically if your site works on Safari it will work with Chrome. But does your site work on Safari? I would suspect there are many a smaller organisation (& probably a few big ones as well) who have only built their site to support IE, and maybe Firefox. A quick review of the major job boards in Australia should that Seek, CareerOne & MyCareer all work ok. On the corporate side of things PageUp, Taleo and NGA sites all seem to hold up as well.

My next point is around privacy. Chrome allows user to browser without leaving a history on their personal desktop by using Incognito mode. But what is more interesting is the collection of data by Google. While they say it is only statistics but I have had reports, unconfirmed, that the URL you are browsing is sent back to Google to help the Googlebot know what to index.

Thoughts from my initial usage (2 hours worth):

  • It is reasonably fast
  • Clean user interface
  • I like the new tab browsing approach
  • Each new tab has a dashboard of frequently used sites, very nice
  • Love the ability to save sites as application shortcuts on the desktop, makes a browser application more like a regular desktop application
  • For developers the Inspect element allows you to view the underlying source code associated with the selected element
  • I spent 15 minutes trying to work out how to spell check a field on a page, I guess not all the UI is easy

I will be using Chrome as my primary browser for the next week and will then decide if I should go back to Firefox. Will Chrome over take Firefox, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer, like most things only time will tell.