Google Chrome is my homeboy
Google Chrome celebrates its one year birthday today, and there seems to be news to herald this happy occasion. Yesterday Computer World shared that in the web browser wars, Google is closing in on Apple’s Safari. While Safari increased its browser market share just a tad, Chrome is climbing rapidly, jumping 0.3 percent to claim 2.9% of the browser market.
At this pace, Chrome is a contender to replace Safari as the #3 browser that people are using within a year’s time. After that, there’s only #1 Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (66.6%), and #2 Mozilla Firefox (23.3%) to defeat – which is by no means a small task since the gap between market browser preferences is still so wide.
Ah Chrome, how I adore thee.
I switched to Chrome as my primary browser a couple months ago from Firefox, my former number 1. I’m impatient and a speed demon online so the most important thing when choosing a web browser for me is the loading time and the browsing speed. That’s why when Firefox started hanging for me, I dropped it like it was hot.
Once upon a time Firefox was everyone’s favorite darling, but now the browser seems to be enduring a gradual decline into the abyss of annoying the heck out of people. There’s been so many changes to Firefox that it’s become much slower than its competition. Just to click and get it started takes me a good 3 seconds longer than even IE (which is slow already)… that’s ridiculous. (Who has patience for this nowadays??) The only thing that keeps me enduring the wait for the browser are the add-ons which, yes, are still pretty useful. But even add-ons aren’t that enticing to convince me to use it as my primary, so I only open Firefox when I need Firebug or Screengrab or something. Otherwise it’s on the back-up browser shelf.
Yes, yes… I know Chrome’s compatibility issues sometimes make one grit their teeth. We all know it’s not very good at rendering certain sites. We know it needs a standardized format. But this is where Firefox steps in as a useful back-up since it’s universal and has a better standardized format for sites. Also, Chrome’s random flash in-compatibilities don’t do us any favors. (This is a highly ironic scenario since half of YouTube’s flash capabilities and videos are dysfunctional on Chrome, and coincidentally Google owns YouTube so… huh?)
BUT despite all that, the bottom-line remains: Chrome is simple, clean and functionally efficient. AND FAST. Boy, is it fast. It doesn’t have the extra add-ons or bonus pizazz but it does its job and personally, I really enjoy using it – it’s fun. There’s not a lot of extra stuff to get bogged down in, and the icons are big and friendly-looking. I’m a big fan of the tabbing feature where you can shift your page orders or drag them out to create new windows if you’d like.
Chrome’s incognito mode is also pretty neat. Basically this feature lets you browse in stealth mode when you don’t want your online activities recorded in browsing or downloaded histories. New cookies are automatically deleted after you close your incognito window. (Good for when you need to plan a roommate’s surprise party, or other things…) I believe IE 8 and Firefox both offer similar modes now too, but Chrome has such an easy idiot-proof switch to incognito.
In terms of security, Chrome is the latest browser to claim the “most secure” title. IE is the most vulnerable and requires a patch; Firefox used to brag about its stellar browser security but lately its malware/virus reports have been increasing at a scary rate. However, this is to be expected since as a browser’s popularity increases, inevitably the bad guys come out and create browser malware/viruses to target the larger user market. For now, Chrome is your safest bet and it does a better job of convincing me because it just “feels” more secure. (Not very scientific, but it really does.)
And of course, I must still occasionally resort to IE 8 for work purposes because of the whole “Microsoft sites only work with Microsoft” deal. This irks me since IE is essentially the prissy little brat that doesn’t like playing with others. (*Fist shake* One of these days…)
Thus, because of Microsoft site compatibility requirements, Firefox add-ons, and the need for speed, I sometimes find myself switching between 3 different windows just to get one thing done. Those times aren’t fun.
All the other times though, when I need to launch something now and compatibility is not an issue – you can bet Chrome is my homeboy.
[One last amusing note: I read on Michael Aulia’s blog that Microsoft is desperate to have people abandon IE6 and upgrade to to IE8… so much so that they are donating 16 meals to the homeless for every person who makes the switch. Smart marketing tactic coinciding with Hunger Action month. 8 meals go to feeding the hungry if you even download IE8. Still makes me bitter though.]