Google Chrome Review

Jumping on the bandwagon I was one of the many to download Google’s Chrome browser the day it was released. I was immediately impressed, then somewhat disappointed. I gave Chrome 48 hours to impress me, but I wasn’t willing to give up IE… yet. I will blame this on the psychology of change and my resistance to learn a new browser and accept the idea that it could actually be a quality one.

My dissatisfaction started when I realized that the software at our company didn’t load properly in this new browser, forcing me to continue using IE. While attempting to use both browsers as primary ones, I ended up adding favorites to IE and bookmarks to Chrome that were not being synchronized. This greatly frustrated me when I found that I couldn’t export my new Chrome bookmarks back into IE, but instead I only had the option to import from IE into Chrome. The idea of being forced fully into Chrome as my primary browser before I’d had a chance to decided if I accepted it or not was too much to deal with at the moment. So I uninstalled Chrome to avoid future confusion. But then something happened.

Without even knowing it, the invisible niceties of Chrome had affected me. I tried to use IE’s address bar to enter search terms, then I tried to separate a tab from the main IE window so I could compare it to another tab. To top it off, I actually noticed the difference in speed when returning to IE. A couple days later I came across the Google Chrome comic ( I’ve herd about using comics for technology adaptation at conferences, but this was my first experience reading one as a user. While a little long for my attention span, I made it through all 39 pages. I was impressed, and inspired. While chrome is in beta and may have some tweaks to work out, all of the invisible niceties had now become abundantly clear to me. I felt a bond with this browser, it was designed to meet my needs. 

The omni bar, it’s search box capture (hit tab after you enter a site you’ve searched on before), and the independent tabs are priceless to me. They are efficient, pleasant and useful in my daily needs. Being in the generation of ADD users, It’s not unheard of for me to have 30-50 different tabs going once I get on a roll. Chrome can not only handle this, but it handles it well. Working on a duel screen setup, the ability for me to have two Chrome instances open, one on each screen, and drag tabs between them to compare pages and data is worth switching alone. Then I discovered something that brought a smile to every face on my team at work. The Chrome Element Inspector. I can right click on a page, and chose “Inspect element” and not only will I get a developer inspector that rivals firebug, but with amazing speeds I can view every attached JavaScript file and load times. 

Therefore reaching the acceptance stage in my psychology of change I decided it was time to switch. It took less than 5 minutes for me to replace my IE shortcut with a Chrome one, and declare Chrome as my “default browser”. While I will still need to use IE running our work application, I don’t think it will be long until we have made the needed enhancements to support Chrome. I can’t wait to see where this goes once it’s out of beta. Google’s ability to constantly meet the needs of it’s audience, refine and improve never cease to amaze me. 

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