Google Chrome (Mac) Review

I didn’t think that I would ever even download Chrome.  I feel like Google is becoming a tad invasive.  They have branched into operating systems, browsers, email, and all sorts of things.  I worry that they are mining data and breeching privacy expectations.  All of that garbage aside, why not try it out.  On my machine I currently bounce between the following browsers:

These browsers all have their own advantages and disadvantages, but to put it simply.  Safari is my favorite on the Mac, it is fast, follows good standards, and relatively stable.  Camino is rock solid, mildly extensible and open (it uses the same engine as Firefox).  Firefox is open, really popular and highly customizable, but quite slow and not Mac-like.  Then we have Chrome.  Read on.

Chrome is not super OS X like.  It seems like it would fit in better in a windows environement where everything looks different and that is ok.  Listen up Google, it isn’t ok on the Mac.  The menubar is too thick, and the tabs are bizarre.  I do like that the GUI takes up less space on the screen because the tabs are upward into the bar, but if they were less white, a shade totally unused in recent versions of OS X, it would be a lot nicer and unified.  Bar is also not Cocoa or customizable, which is a big downer.  For instance, I rarely use a bookmark button, and have actually never used a home button, yet cannot remove them in Chrome.

Chrome gets points for using keychain, and also for being wicked fast.  In fact, let me reiterate.

Chrome is wicked fast.

Another interesting innovation is the popup status bar at the bottom of the window.  When hovering over a link the lower left has a popup that tells you where you will be going, which is nice, the internet is a dangerous place.  I am still unsure of how I feel about the combo bar at the top.  It is both an address bar and a search bar.  The search bar scores Google some massive points in my book.  They allow you to choose your search engine.  I repeat, the search giant Google allows you to choose your own search engine.  You get to choose between Google, Yahoo, and Bing.  Good work.

Also, for the web designers out there, Chrome uses WebKit and all of its coolness.  It appears that you get support for color profiles in image files (awesome) and that you also get the really nice inspect element window on command.  Sadly, there is not develop option like in Safari, which I use to prevent image based ads and such.

The final blow to Chrome is that there is currently no provision to block the ever invasive flash.  It has become obvious to me recently that while flash has its place, it is really really slow.  I mean, when playing certain video files and games online I am maxing out a Core 2 Duo with 4GB of RAM.  That is really not ok, and should not happen.

With all of that said, I actually like the application overall and am going to play around with it for a little bit.

EDIT:  Chrome is now basically useless in my life.  It took it all of 15 minutes.  It does not support SilverLight, therefore no netflix streaming.  Well Chrome, it was nice knowing you.

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