I said I was going to download Google Chrome first thing in the morning, didn't it? Well, I had a hectic morning trying to get to Tech.Ed on time so I did not manage to download the freshly baked Google Chrome Beta, but then I still managed to get it up and running after I came back in the evening. The download was small -- less than 500kb, which it almost fooled me to think that Chrome is smaller than w3m! Then the installer launched and downloaded the rest. Oh well.
I was quick to get it up and running, and it takes network/proxy setting from Internet Explorer, but offers to import bookmarks, passwords and history from Firefox.
I have been running it for the last 30 minutes. Here are some first impressions.
- Fast. Really fast. WebKit is Fast. V8 is FAST. The whole Internet speeds up. Woohoo!
- It did not import my passwords from Firefox correctly because I have master password on.
- Element and resource inspector is pretty cool. Not as good as Firebug, but better than the vanilla DOM inspector.
- There's no status bar. When you hover over a link, the URL just pops up at the lower-left-hand corner.
- Lack of title bar is annoying, because you can't really easily see the full title (well you can only when you hover over the tab and the full title comes up in tool tip).
- Crashed twice on me I have to go to Task Manager to kill all chrome.exe. While the offending tab crashes (which happens to be Gmail, how ironic), the entire Chrome window + other tabs become unresponsive.
Lack of plugin also means it might not be as useful for developers, but general browsing it beats Firefox hands down in terms of speed and responsiveness. Like most Google software it's still in beta -- and if it is like Gmail it would be in "beta" for possibly a few years -- so I might cut it some slack here. I might actually try to use it as my primary browser for the next week or two.