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Google Web Browser launches tomorrow


JoeyN
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I don't quite understand the browser wars. Unless you have some proprietary web tech coming down the pipe why would you bother spending the time on yet another browser? Even if Google does have come proprietary stuff down the road they are clearly influential enough to get it implemented in other browsers.

 

Why do Microsoft & Apple pour so many resources into their respective browsers? How does Safari & IE possibly make money for either company?

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of competition but I just don't see the motivation behind all the browser development.

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Exactly, having a browser with market share means you have a browser that's tightly integrated with your technologies and search, and you push them by association. It's not like this is small stuff either, Mozilla Corporation made $56 million in 2006 from default google searches. IE8 beta 2 is like Windows Live: The Brand: The Browser.

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Two words. Google phone. It is more complicated than that. But, Google has some of the most important web apps around. For me, owning an Iphone is almost 100% about being able to access google apps from anywhere. So if google can evolve into its own platform of sorts, it is to their advantage to have greater control over that platform. And since everything is web-based, it is specifically in their best interests to develop a web browser that works exactly how they want, deploy it on their new phone platform, and then on computers so that users of their platform can have an identical experience everywhere.

 

Do no evil. Do no evil. Please do no evil.

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Well I'm excited. As excited as I could be over a browser, anyways (which isn't very) :) I like Maxthon 2, Firefox, and Opera, but they're not really terribly different and I set them up all pretty much the same and use all the same gestures. I'm really curious to see if Google Chrome manages to stand out.

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One thing I don't like is that you can't access bookmarks without having the bookmarks bar active. I don't like the space it takes up.

 

The new tab page lists your bookmarks, I think... not ideal but better than nothing (or having that bookmarks bar always on).

 

It seems like new tabs have to open next to your current one, which I don't like (I want them to appear at the end), but other than that minor issue it's making a great impression. Wicked fast, and I like the minimal UI (no status bar, just how I like it :)).

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I like the integrated spell check in the browser. Nice for me at work where I spend most of my day typing and having to make sure my notes are flawless.

 

Is there anyway to configure the "Most Visited" to display whatever pages I want or does it just go off of browsing history? I /love/ speed dial in Opera specifically because it lets me customize my bookmarks on that page as I see fit (negating the need for a bookmark bar at all on the browser for me).

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The only issue for me, coming from how I had Maxthon 2 setup, is new tabs opening next to their parent. But I'm gonna try to get used to that, because otherwise I'm loving the feel of this thing. It's disgusting how much faster it is at times. And I've already felt the multi-process benefits. If a site gets stuck for a few seconds it really doesn't affect anything else. It's almost a strange feeling, when a site pauses for a few seconds but your browser and other sites are still all perfectly responsive :)

 

Is there anyway to configure...

 

Seems like the answer to any question starting like that is a "No."

 

I wonder how quickly the open source community will start pumping out more configurable alternate releases...

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I wonder how quickly the open source community will start pumping out more configurable alternate releases...

Hopefully quickly as the lack of configurability in many areas is my primary complaint at the moment (though it is a beta afterall). I can see the potential though and the speed/responsiveness of the browser is indeed impressive. With some work and time it could be a contender...

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Lots of little problems with Facebook (mostly lots of links that just don't work). And it seems to get the page position a little too high with the "Go to first new post" button in these forums, which is probably the most annoying thing for me right now. And using the middle mouse button on drop-down menu links doesn't open them in a new tab like you'd expect (it's just like a left button click, reuses the current tab). Once when visiting Xbox.com the menus were coming up screwy, but now they're drawing fine again.

 

But I may keep using it still, anyways. The performance is really beautiful. I sometimes pop open a lot of tabs in the background and Chrome blows everything else away in that department. It just keeps running perfectly... mostly, anyways. There have been a few times when I went to open a new tab and the whole of Chrome froze for a couple of seconds. A big shock when that happens, since it's usually instantaneous. I hope that'll be ironed out.

 

I've been using the app window feature for Gmail. Great feature! :)

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Did anyone else check out the Scott McCloud comic that went along with the browser launch? I thought it was a great way to explain the browser, and I really like some of the ideas they've come up with. Keeping each tab as its own process makes a lot of sense, and playing around with the result is amazingly fast. I hadn't realized that Firefox 3 was actually slow until I saw how fast chrome could render pages.

 

I still won't be switching full time yet though-there are still some things missing. The number of Firefox extensions that I use has definitely dropped, but the two that I really don't want to go without are adblock and mouse gestures. Once those two features make it in, I might switch my primary browser over to chrome.

 

Of course, this also means yet another browser to test with when developing web apps...

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Likes:

 

Tabs at the very top of the window - no wasting space and easier to see if you have tiled some windows on top of each other.

 

Multi-threaded - supposedly one bad tab won't crash the whole browser.

 

Chrome task manager (under Developer - Task Manager - or Shift-Esc) - very cool.

 

Status bar at the bottom showing what the browser is doing only appears when it is loading or something - another space saver.

 

The status bar and tabs location will be great on the wife's Acer Aspire One (which replaced her eeePC last weekend) - it runs at 1024x600 so screen real estate is at a premium.

 

Dislikes:

The address bar isn't as cool as Firefox's awesomebar though - I love that thing.

 

Color Scheme : the color scheme appears to be independent from Windows...I have a personal dislike for all apps that do that. It looks funky with my theme (Black Mesa 2).

 

desktopscreenshotki4.th.jpg

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Another little thing that I just noticed-if the title of the tab is wider than the tab header, there's no way to read the whole thing. In firefox, the main browser title bar becomes the tab title.

 

Also, is there any way to switch search engines on the fly? I typically use the search box in FF to switch between google and MSDN, but in Chrome it looks like I can select one engine and that's it.

 

I really like the process model that they're using though, and I hope that either chrome extends to have all the features that Firefox has, or that Firefox has a major upgrade that shares this feature. Having a task manager for a web browser is pretty awesome.

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