First impressions of Google Chrome beta

Categories: Google Chrome RIA Web Apps WebKit

I’ve just installed the brand-spanking-new Google Chrome beta (previous post), and I must say, I like the way the UI feels and works. The interface really allows you to focus on the site or webapp you’re using. Google pays homage to browsers like Safari, Opera, and Firefox in their introductory comic (http://books.google.com/books?id=8UsqHohwwVYC&printsec=frontcover), but my initial impression is that Google has done an incredible job of adapting and improving other’s implementations.

Now for some screenshots for those who’ve not yet installed it. The “Stats for nerds” link in the memory usage dialog box made me chuckle a little (third screen below). And notice that in the memory usage screen, Chrome shows memory utilization for other browsers (Firefox 3 is listed in the fourth screen below).

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Chrome has insanely fast JavaScript execution via the V8 engine created by Google Denmark. See the Dromaeo results for Chrome (381.20ms - http://dromaeo.com/?id=30827) versus Dromaeo results for Firefox (1338.60ms - http://dromaeo.com/?id=30827) and Safari (1399.60ms - http://dromaeo.com/?id=30842). Of note there is that I have Chrome running in a virtual machine, VMWare Fusion, which means it could be even faster when running natively on the Mac.

While I haven’t necessarily put Chrome through its paces, I have gotten it to Sad Tab once so far - and it was while using Google Analytics. Maybe their test driven development process (mentioned in the comic) should have stuck closer to home awhile longer.

Chrome also seems to have trouble vetting its own Adsense site’s SSL certificate, but that’s probably related to my not having placed the www in the URL.
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In all I’ve found Google Chrome to be an excellent browser thus far - it’s fast and stable, and integrated Google Gears is going to mean a much higher rate of adoption by developers. Time will tell if this is truly an early phase of the Google OS, but as web browsers go, Chrome is top-notch.