I can remember the first time I heard the word “Google”. Â My mate Gerbil told me I needed to try a “Google search” for some info I needed. Â A Google what? Â That was 2001.
I tried Google Chrome for the first time when it was publicly released at the end of 2008. Â Initially I was moderately impressed although I had issues with TGM – most of that were probably due to poor coding on my part! Â I certainly had a wee while to wait til I would consider setting it as my default browser.
Now Google has released v4 of it’s browser and it’s finally matured to the point where I’m seriously contemplating switching from Firefox. Â Why? Â Well… here’s a list of my favourite features.
- Extensions – This is a new toy with v4 (as far as I’m aware) and is similar to the extensions in Firefox. Â And why are extensions cool? Â They add extra “bits” on to the browser, like Mouse Gestures (built in to Opera since way back when and a staple of my favourite browsers) and Firebug Lite – a Chrome version of the Firefox add-on that is an absolute necessity for web developers.
- Synchronised bookmarks – Again this is an Opera trick that I’ve been just waaaaaaiting to find added to Firefox too. Â If you log into your Google account, you can synchronise your bokmarks between mutliple computers. Â I’m forever researching web tools and trends and bookmarking like crazy, but that’s no use when I get to work and wanna find what I’ve bookmarked. Â What a solution.
- Speed – out of the box I reckon you can’t beat Chrome for speed. Â It was one of Firefox’s originally selling points, but has totally gone by the wayside in recent bloat-ware releases. Â I often wonder if it’s Firebug that’s causing it – or my myriad of add-ons, but either way Chrome craps all over it. Â If I fire up ALL of my browsers at once, almost without fail Chrome will be the first one to be ready to use – even if I click it’s icon last. Â It’s possible that because I’m using the Google Desktop Apps which runs in a cut-down version of Chrome (meaning that it’s technically already up and running).
- Developer tools – yes the main Developer Tools aren’t a patch on Firebug (almost a moot point with Firebug Lite – which is just a smidge off from the real deal), but the Task Manager is just awesome. Â It’ll tell you (just like Windows Task Manager) how much CPU, memory and network traffic each tab, extension or plugin is using in your browser. Â A fantastic tool for developers trying to fine-tune their sites
So call me obsessive if you will, but Google is slowly become a huge part of my everyday life. Â Evil? Maybe. Â Cool? You bet. Â I urge you to try out Chrome. Â Also..Â Check out these other great tools from Google:
- Gmail – THE web-based email solution
- Google Analytics – tracking hits to your sites
- Google Maps – If you haven’t seen this yet… where have you been?
- Picasa – Image cataloging and rudimentary editing software
There’s soooo many others (and probably more on the horizon too). Â Google are taking over the frickin’ world, man. Â Where to next? Â I’d like to see them offer an e-commerce application – they do Google Checkout (kinda like PayPal only not available in NZ) so I reckon it’s only a matter of time.
So stand up all you Googlephiles… Â Tell me how you use Google.