Google Chrome – First Impressions

By Dave Elkan

Google Chrome has hit the ground running. I’m totally blown away with how fast it is in comparison to Firefox. That said, though, it’s not yet lumbered down with plugins.

User Interface

The user interface, whilst remaining familiar, is revolutionary. I feel that it reflects the programatical approach taken in it’s construction. The way the tabs rule over the buttons and URL bar says to me that this tab is another instance of Chrome within the Chrome Controller window. Better yet, the total lack of any user interface with the use of an ‘application shortcut’ is fantastic. It allows the web-app developer to create true web based applications without being lumbered with needless controls. Gmail and Reader feel like real applications now.

Speed and Plugins

Whilst the rendering speed is lightning fast like safari/webkit, the application load time and responsiveness is a breath of fresh air. In Firefox I only have 4 plugins (Firebug, WebDeveloper, Twitter, Mouse Gestures) even with them disabled I can feel a significant difference between the load times of Firefox and Chrome. Lets hope that Firefox plugins will be easily ported to Chrome and that they are use V8’s compiled JavaScript to run natively.

Newness and Adoption

Chrome feels new and I feel revitilised using it. Looking back on long, hellish years of developing for Internet Explorer I can only hope that people finally heed the call and shun the need to click on the blue 'e’. Maybe Chrome, boosted by Google’s high profile, will be the key to the releasing the enslaved IE users into the light from their Platonic cave of web browsing.

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