Google Chrome released!

If you haven’t heard, Google’s finally decided to release their in-development browser, the Google Chrome earlier today, and I’ve been trying it out for a while now.

I am pretty impressed with the results. Chrome didn’t even crash or waver even one bit while I opened up ALL my imported bookmarks from Firefox (roughly 70+) while another window of Chrome was loading the Miku Medley on Nicovideo and another window was loading Youtube while my Firefox was loading another 3 videos + FLOW online. The Miku video even continued playing without skipping. That is some seriously good memory management.

Of course, this doesn’t come cheap, as you can see from the screen I posted below. Nearly 660MB taken up there by Chrome alone, heh. Well, granted it actually was stable since my other programs also still ran (foobar, uTorrent, IRC, etc) so I guess some credit has to go to Vista’s new memory management too.

Google Chrome

My Task Manager didn’t go mad with Chrome.exe though.

Also, Chrome still needs some good plugins for it. I wish someone will port Tabmixplus, NoScript, Flashgot and Autocopy for Chrome. Those are my four most used Firefox extensions there. Man I really need mouse-hover tab selection for the sheer ergonomy of the feature.

Chrome also doesn’t scroll as smooth as Firefox does in terms of using the mouse scroll, since it kinda… jumps up and down so it gets a bit annoying. I would prefer it to smooth-scroll line by line down the page instead of scrolling by sections. That’s one little thing I hope the programmers will look in to and fix for the next release.

On the bright side, aside from the sheer rock-solid stability of it, there’s a ton of neat features in Chrome such as:

  • Download bar only shows up in the same window you started the download with.
  • History searching is VERY VERY powerful, since is also searches through the page contents as well.
  • The Chrome Task Manager works as advertised, and heck, Chrome even comes with an “about:memory” page for detailed stats too. Very nice touch.
  • You can even drag tabs from Firefox windows in to Chrome, but the other way round doesn’t seem to quite work.
  • Porn Incognito mode is pretty awesome too.
  • That new V8 JS engine sure is fast. Gmail loaded about a second faster on Chrome than on Firefox. Mixed results with Y! Mail though.
  • The search page feature is awesome. It even has counter for the number of instances the search term occurs in the page!

Overall, quite a polished release from Google, although I will admit that Chrome still needs some touch-ups especially for the memory-conscious group of users, as well as a fix for the scroll behavior too. Definitely worth trying out otherwise though, since it’s pretty fast, stable and fully functional as a browser.

28 Comments

  1. Haesslich Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 1:44 pm

    I’m typing in it as we speak.

    Advantages: Fast, takes up somewhat less RAM than Firefox 3.0.1 in my system.

    Disadvantages: Tab system’s kinda clunky, options area feels kinda limited with regards to what can or can’t be done privacy-wise, cookie management is limited to ‘delete all cookies’. Also with the DNS suggestions things on, it can inject unwanted results based on their Google Ranking (eg: Typing in ‘Wa’ gets you Walmart even if Wakaranai.animeblogger.net is in your Bookmarks list. Also, Bookmark management is rudimentary.

  2. Haesslich Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 1:45 pm

    Gets you ‘walmart’ as the first link suggestion, even. Also, it’ll show kurogane.animeblogger.net/wp-post.php as the first autofill suggestion for the page instead of the server name.

  3. IcyStorm Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 1:54 pm

    I think Haesslich hit the nail on the head, except I have the same experience with RAM as you, Kurogane. I don’t have enough RAM for Chrome to take 660MB of it (not that I normally have 70 tabs open though).

  4. yanipheonu Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 2:02 pm

    Boo for no Mac version! Ah well, they say their working on it though.

  5. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 2:10 pm

    Yeah, the privacy options need some tinkering too as well, but in the mean time, you can always run it Incognito.

    Tab behavior is acceptable for me, but let’s wait for the plugins first.

    As for the suggestion bars, they work almost like firefox for me now. The bar DOES learn from your browsing behavior and history though, since typing in “wa” gives me http://wakarimasenlol.com instead of Walmart as the first choice. Give it some time to learn your patterns.

  6. Haesslich Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 2:18 pm

    I have 10 tabs and I’m at 168MB in Vista SP1. Firefox would, with the plugins I have (AdBlocker, DownloadHelper) balloon up to about 300MB or so.

    Kurogane: Incognito mode’s one thing, but I want to be able to pick what cookies I’m killing, as well as what sort of information I’m sending Google (yes, I did turn off ‘send error reports and other data to Google’), as well as the address line quirks. The issue isn’t its learning so much as how it’ll prioritize the wp-post.php page over the server name, because you may go to the wp-post.php page multiple times when you make responses on a blog… instead of going to the main page, or showing just the server name at the top, which SHOULD direct you to the main page.

  7. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 2:20 pm

    Well, one thing’s for sure. It doesn’t do that in my install.

    Did you import your Firefox profile data in to Chrome? Maybe if you’re beginning from scratch, it does that.

  8. mon Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 2:41 pm

    If you use Ctrl-F, the places where the words were found are marked on the scrollbar. Very cool.

  9. Haesslich Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 3:17 pm

    Yes, I imported FF – and when I type in Kurogane, it pulls up the wordpress-post.php file first. Maybe it`ll smooth out later, when I keep picking `kurogane.animeblogger.net`.

  10. Haesslich Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

    One other issue to note: My slashes and question marks are now é and É instead of their proper characters… but they work normally in any other program. This seems to be a weird Chrome thing.

  11. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 3:44 pm

    Did you set the correct character encoding in Chrome? It’s default to Western ISO encoding. I’ve set mine to Unicode.

  12. Haesslich Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 3:58 pm

    I set it to Unicode. It turns out the issue was that, for some reason, Windows kept resetting the keyboard to French instead of English despite my being on the Chrome browser when I changed it. It seems to be working now.

    See?

  13. Michael Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 4:40 pm

    It’s a good browser, but it still has ways to go before it can attain the level of Firefox, although its idiosyncrasies are very appreciable. I love using it, but I’ll have to go back to Firefox sooner or later. :)

  14. Exec Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 6:31 pm

    # You can even drag tabs from Firefox windows in to Chrome, but the other way round doesn’t seem to quite work.
    This is probably because Firefox’s default behavior is to “copy” the url of the tab to wherever you’re dragging. Try holding down alt or control when dragging from chrome to Firefox and it should probably work the other way too.

    # That new V8 JS engine sure is fast. Gmail loaded about a second faster on Chrome than on Firefox. Mixed results with Y! Mail though.
    They’re working on it over at Mozilla :)
    http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/roadmap/archives/2008/09/tracemonkey_update.html

  15. Seatux Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 7:10 pm

    I could see this as a browser for netbooks because of the interface compactness. Though the usual 512mb of ram is not going to be too happy with the high ram usage. Should be interesting to see a linux port soon.

  16. Endz Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 9:55 pm

    What is the shortcut for tabs? Theres no RSS feed too :(. Although what I like about it is that it eats lower memory than FF3.

  17. Guestur Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 10:59 pm

    This browser does have some problems though.

    1. Reports IP back to Google
    2. Reports all visited pages back to Google
    3. Gives your PC a unique ID
    4. Its easy to start an (evil) java app on your pc, Carpet bomb (see http://raffon.net/research/google/chrome/carpet.html)
    5. To crash the browser simply visit this site http://lists.grok.org.uk/pipermail/f…er/064203.html
    6. or just type :%
    7. Scanns all of your files on the hd. Everything.
    8. No stable proxy support
    9. GoogleUpdate.exe is omipresent, starts everytime you boot and is not part of the deinstallation, so it stays on you system forever.

    I’d not touch it with a stick unless this gets removed.

  18. Endz Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 11:05 pm

    ^ Even if you delete the said exe itself it still stays?

  19. Guestur Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 11:12 pm

    Endz: I’m not sure about that. I won’t install the program due to these problems, but I’d guess that while you can delete the .exe, that’s not what your average computer user will think of doing. He will uninstall it and think everything’s gone. I could be wrong though.

  20. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 11:18 pm

    Guestur: Can you actually prove 1,2,3,7 and 9 are actually harmful?

  21. Guestur Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 11:22 pm

    Kurogane: Whether they are harmful or not isn’t the point. Why does Google want to know how much porn I have?
    It’s up to each user to decide whether s/he is okay with Google monitoring their computers, so they should have the chance to be informed of it.

  22. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    September 3, 2008 @ 11:33 pm

    The installer does inform you about the choice to send usage statistics to Google, etc. etc.

    Well, as long as you avoid using any mission-critical or confidential information in Chrome, I don’t see why you shouldn’t use it for other light stuff.

    Currently, I’m using it mostly for browsing news sites, forums and etc. Chrome also feels smoother when loading Youtube and Nicovideo for me as well

  23. Haesslich Said,

    September 4, 2008 @ 1:58 am

    that’s why I said the privacy options need work. Currently it’s on a backup machine which has no important data on it. Oh, and the browser it imported data from doesn’t have any banking info, as I don’t use that machine for banking.

    Paranoid user is paranoid.

  24. Dark Said,

    September 4, 2008 @ 8:33 am

    Chrome looks promising from an architectural point of view, however at the moment I will not be using it due to its relative lack of features (e.g. no mouse gestures, ad-blocker, better cookie management, etc). Supposedly Google will be making an addon API for developers shortly though. In terms of stability, Chrome froze up on me for about 10 seconds, but managed to recover itself, stating a problem with the Flash plugin. As pointed out, it also uses a shitload of RAM which is unfortunate, but not surprising as each tab is a unique process.

  25. Haesslich Said,

    September 4, 2008 @ 2:34 pm

    Dark: If you check the EULA, it indicates they MAY end up using this to deliver ads… so no AdBlocker for you.

  26. Haesslich Said,

    September 4, 2008 @ 2:42 pm

    Here’s the usage results I got with 9 tabs with pages and one empty in both Firefox 3.0.1 and Chrome:

    Chrome 0.2.149.27 181,756k 4,748k 186,504k 272,176k 103,448k
    Firefox 3.0.1 73,944k 8,456k 82,400k 70,180k 10,292k

    For this Firefox install, I made sure i had the bare minimum of plugins going… which in turn has kept it slender. But Chrome’s not showing the same memory hogging that others have reported with over 650MB of RAM taken on my system after about 5-6 hours of use.

  27. albert_2mb Said,

    September 6, 2008 @ 4:26 pm

    I “wait, what?”-ed when I realize Chrome can’t open RSS links  ̄ー ̄

  28. Ail’s Work » Blog Archive » Google Chrome Said,

    October 12, 2008 @ 9:10 am

    [...] news.cnet.com kurogane.animeblogger.net [...]

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