Google recently announced the release of their new open-source web browser, Google Chrome. This is yet another move by Google to compete with the software giant Microsoft, who's Internet Explorer browser currently dominates the market. As skeptical as I was about the new browser, I downloaded it anyway and here's what I found:
First of all, the interface is fairly clean, which I like a lot. The first interesting feature that I like about this browser is that it dynamically creates a ‘homepage’ based on your browsing history. For example, my homepage shows thumbnail images of the most recent websites I’ve visited and bookmarks that I’ve added.
The search feature allows the user to search for keywords on pages recently visited. This seems like it could be helpful in situation where you’re trying to recall something you previously found.
Google Chrome seems to be about as quick as any of the other browsers that I use. Google claims to have built Chrome on a foundation that prevents individual tabs from causing others to crash. I haven’t used the browser enough to test this out but it sounds like a great a feature. Firefox and IE 7 both seem to have problems in this area.
The Dark Side of Google Chrome
Well, as with all free Google tools, there’s always a catch. When signing up to download the browser, Google asks for permission to track usage and browser performance. This basically creates another touch-point where Google has an opportunity to track behavior. As with any breach of privacy, I’m a little skeptical about giving too much information to Google. I’m also curious as to if and how Google will use this information in the long run to tweak its search engine algorithm. It seems almost certain that Google will somehow make use of this data.
Overall, Chrome looks like a good browser with a bright future. While I’m not ready to switch yet, I can’t wait to see some of the apps created for this browser by the open source community.