Google’s new beta browser is solid despite bugs

By Jessica Luthi

Editor

The start page for Google Chrome doesn’t start blank but includes your most visited Web sites, recent bookmarks and recently closed tabs. The grid format is similar to Opera’s speed dial feature. IMAGE COURTESY OF GOOGLE

The start page for Google Chrome doesn’t start blank but includes your most visited Web sites, recent bookmarks and recently closed tabs. The grid format is similar to Opera’s speed dial feature. IMAGE COURTESY OF GOOGLE

Everyone uses a different browser for surfing the web and what may work for one person may not necessarily work for someone else. I, too, am no different for having a preference for browsing the Web: I am a Firefox gal. Now, I am not biased against other browser maybe with the exception of Internet Explorer (who’s constant crashes drove me nuts) or Netscape, a browser that is so slow that even the Slowskys (the turtles featured in Comcast’s High-Speed Broadband commercials) would complain.

Early this month, to my surprise Google launched Chrome, it’s first Web browser. An open source project, Chrome is still in beta and currently only available for download on the Windows platform. But don’t lose heart Linux and Mac users, Google is currently developing versions of Chrome for your operating systems too. In every beta project there are bound to be some problems such as security vulnerabilities, or other bugs but surprisingly, Google Chrome has very few of either.

Chrome itself has a pretty simple design and is much faster, in terms of bringing up a windows and loading sites, than my beloved Firefox. When you first start Chrome, you’ll see an empty grid which is similar to Opera’s speed dial feature with several exceptions. With Opera you have to drag your favorite Web sites in the speed dial. Chrome, on the other hand remembers the sites that you visit the most and puts into the grid and is updated every time that you log on to the Internet. The other cool thing about the grid page is it includes your most recent bookmarks and search bar all in one spot.

Searching the Internet is important, but more important than having the ability to search is the tool that you use to search. With Chrome you can just search right in the address bar instead of having doing the extra step of going to your search engine of choice. In my case, it’s Google.

Chrome has some other pretty cool features, including: crash prevention, which allows users to close a tab that is not responding without having to close the entire browser; a nifty download bar at the bottom of the page; dynamic tabbed browsing, which allows users to drag tabs out of an existing window creating a new window; incognito mode, a privacy feature which allows users to browse the web without the browser remembering where you’ve been once the user has logged off; and desktop shortcuts, which allows users to add a quick shortcut icon to their desktop, start menu or task bar.

I have used many of the popular browsers including IE, Netscape and Opera. But I think Google has a good chance of competing with the browser elite when all of the major bugs are worked out and a final version is released. Overall, the Google browser is much better than some of the industry leaders. It is fast, simple and has some really cool features. This browser is solid and almost worth switching for. Almost.

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