Google Chrome – First Usage Thoughts

Yes I know it’s been out a while but yesterday was the first time I’d gotten around to installing Google Chrome. Mainly because I didn’t want to install it on a production machine (being a beta and all) so with after getting back yesterday afternoon it was the first time in ages I actually had a couple of hours with nothing specific to do!

I’ve commented on the features that caught my eye a little while back so I’ll start there with two of the features I mentioned

Application shortcuts

This feature isn’t a groundbreaking technological advance but I think it’s a really great idea

There are many places we visit on the web now that we consider applications instead of just web sites

Google reader and Google Mail are good examples of this. If your a heavy Google mail user you would potentially have it for the entire time you have your computer on. When using it along with your other Internet activities it can get lost in the other tabs. Application shortcuts allow you to a create a desktop shortcut that launches the application in question and also removes all the browser UI fluff you don’t need (other tabs, address bar, etc)

This also makes it appear like just another desktop application your running. The effect works quite well and when you click links within the application it’s clever enough to pass these onto a regular instance of Chrome for your browse with (again the same as a desktop application)

I found it quite effective

So if the IE team and the people from Firefox are listening..could you “borrow” this please?

V8 Javascript VM

A brand new java engine built from the ground up that does away with interpreting java code and actually compiles it

Does this make any difference?

Definitely

When I tried it with GMail and Google Reader the whole experience felt “snappier” 

As consumer test I browsed to the Sky Sports page as for years as found this page to be quite slow and it certainly made it feel more responsive. I also noticed a big difference when using Facebook

That said I tried to buy something online last night and it just would not play ball. When I switched back to IE it went through first go

 

I haven’t tried any of the Gears features yet so wont comment on those

So overall it’s not bad. It won’t replace IE as my browser of choice just yet (I prefer the “premium” version of Outlook Web Access too much!) but it will certainly change my habits

I’m thinking of using IE as my main browser but using Chrome to setup application shortcuts for my online apps.

From a performance perspective they have definitely raised the bar so I hope the completion step do their best to get as near as possible which will be of the benefit to everyone.

With the whole cloud computer paradigm about to explode we’ll be doing far more in the browser and application developers will be doing more interesting and complex things so we’ll be expecting a lot more from our browsers

I’m not sure if it’s the start of a new browser war but it’ll certainly be interesting!

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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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3 thoughts on “Google Chrome – First Usage Thoughts

  • Just a quick observation with the application shortcuts – it sounds like a good idea but when the URL of the application is hidden it leaves users wide open to being redirected to dangerous websites without knowing.

    It used to be possible in IE to launch popup windows without an address bar but was made mandatory to protect again phishing.

    Like the idea of them though – just need to careful.

  • Hi David

    Good point…as far as i can tell at the moment if any navigation to different domain occurs it redirects to a normal instance of Chrome (address bar and all)

    Don’t take this as gospel though!

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