Since I had my experience of Chrome on XP the other week (no I havent switched to a Windows platform, please read here for explanation) I wanted to get my hands on Chrome for Linux, is it functional enough to replace my Firefox deployment?
I dont intend this article to be long, Chrome is still in beta and theres still some work to be done on it. Whilst what I say may be true of the current build, anything can happen when the next one is released.
Whilst I have a lot of love for Firefox and certainly IMO it outperforms IE even in a Windows environment, as a Linux user the choice of browser is not so simple, as all of the “mainstream” ones are good. Keeping that in mind though, of late I started to notice that Firefox was not as “nippy” as I remembered. I do not like “plugs in” and infact my deployments of Firefox are about as minimalistic as you can get. The lack of speed of Firefox (IMO) was reinforced when using Chrome. Let me put it simply, this current build of Chrome is fast. VERY FAST. Page rendering is much faster, web based input boxes are more responsive. A good example of this is the WordPress dashboard which functions at least twice as fast as Firefox.
Keeping on the example of WordPress (which I believe is a good indicator of a web browsers potential) uploading images, editing posts, deleting held spam by AKISMET were all noticably faster.
There are some great feature differences between Chrome and Firefox, for example your recently visited sites can be shown as thumbnails on a page of their own, theres the ingogneto mode which allows you to surf with privacy (from other users on your computer) Let me quote:
“Pages you view in this window won’t appear in your browser history or search history, and they won’t leave other traces, like cookies, on your computer after you close the incognito window.”
The importing of bookmarks from Firefox was simple and I like the slightly different approach to tabs that Chrome has.
WHAT’S THE DRAWBACK?
At present I think the main drawback is lack of Flash support, this may stop many users from trying it out. For me this is not an issue and looking at the advanced state the beta is currently in, I dont believe it will be long before that is implimented anyway.
The other thing to keep in mind is that it is still a beta and as such will have bugs yet to be reported. I can’t say I’ve found any which is a shame, I would like to be able to contribute something to a browser that I beleive I will be using full time very shortly.
As it stands my usage of Firefox – Chrome is about 10% – 90% (in favor of Chrome) Of course this post doesn’t seek to be a comprehensive review of Chrome (nor can it be) its simply the observations and experiences of my journey through the stages of its beta development.
Goblin – firstname.lastname@example.org