Google Chrome – One interesting bit, ok two, maybe three

When the Internet is in full blown hype mode I usually don’t even bother to blog about it. But this I thought I’d make an exception on this one

However, I haven’t even downloaded Chrome yet! (I have seen it in action though – some people can’t wait!)

However, a few things caught my eye

Application shortcuts

Didn’t fully appreciate this when I first read about it but the Gmail blog explains it well

If you use Gmail or Google reader (or whatever) you can create an application shortcut. The idea is that when the browser opens the page it gets rid of the all the interface elements that remind you that your working in a browser (tabs, address bar, etc) so that it looks like a regular “desktop” application

V8 Javascript VM

Read about it here but in a nutshell Google have started from scratch with the javascript virtual machine. If it’s as fast as they claim it will make vast improvements to the more complex web apps (have you got any friends on Facebook with a million apps installed? Fed up of waiting for that page to load?)

Google Gears (or just Gears as it’s now known)

When I first read about Google gears I didn’t pay it any serious attention. My initial thoughts were “offline access? if I was that bothered about offline access to my RSS feeds I’d use a desktop app!”

I know realise i was missing the point. As well as doing lots of caching to help speed things up it’s also a local database engine. The web developer can shift some of the database load to the client and help prevent lots of trips back to the server (vastly simplified I know!)

MySpace are using it, as are WordPress and obviously Google apps like Google Reader are using it

The thing here though is that it’s built into the browser. Previously you had to download as an add-in for your preferred browser and I never got around to it. Have you?

So what’s my point?

Well I don’t really have one. As I said these features jumped out at me. They are pretty unique to Chrome. Things like tabs in separate processes, sandboxes, incognito mode, crash control and the like are appearing in the “other browsers” already

That said if you put all three of these features together and then use some of Google’s apps it could make for an interesting experience

I’m a pretty heavy user of Google reader, regular user of Gmail and occasional user of Google docs

I could still keep my preferred browser (if I wanted to) and install chrome then setup application shortcuts and use chrome just for using my google apps

I’ll get speed increases, offline access and it will behave in a similar way to a desktop program so they is a chance I wont even notice I’m using a browser!

Anyway just thinking out loud

I wont be installing it on my main machines just yet due to it’s brand new beta status, security flaw and questionable EULA

My poor old laptop is looking like a candidate though

If you want another opinion on Chrome, Vlad obviously has one (which is definitely worth a read) so take a look here

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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