So, I just caught the tail end of the Google Chrome press conference live web-cast, and am already playing around with the new browser. Having already perused the leaked comic press release last night, and watching the now officially released YouTube videos as I type:
Here are some first impressions:
- Out of the box functionality:
- Instillation – Chrome asks to import settings, passwords, and bookmarks from the default browser. This is similar to what Firefox 3 does when upgrading from an earlier version, but works better than any cross-browser settings import I’ve done. My saved passwords, and settings all seem to have transfered.
- Plugins – I was able to stream the live web-cast of the Chrome press conference in WMV, open pdf files in a tab, watch YouTube videos, and play Pandora radio without installing any plugins. I was unable to use the Java uploader to upload photos to Facebook:
I was excited to see that most of the activities that require special plugins in IE, Firefox, or Safari were able to run without them in Chrome, however I won’t consider making it my default browser untill support for third party extentions such as AdBlock Plus, Delicous, and Java are made available.
- Speed: I noticed the same sense of increased speed moving from Firefox 3 to Chrome as I did moving from Firefox 2 to Safari (for Windows), and as I did moving from Firefox 2 to 3, which is substantial.
- Interface and design:The simple layout is nice, although I would like a dedicated , “Home” button. [edit: It's in the settings, just disabled by default (dumb). Thanks dNor!] The “most visited” page is the default homepage. It is interesting, but most users will probably change it to their preferred starting point The address bar is used for searching as well, which is handy as far as simplifying the interface; but makes it difficult to use alternate search providers in the way I’ve become accustomed to in Firefox.
Overall, I’m impressed with the browser’s completeness as a beta product. Save for the few issues I’ve mentioned, I could see myself using Chrome as my default browser very soon. I’ll try to post some more updates, as I continue to experiment.