Everyone uses the web to do all sorts of things these days, whether it is email, online banking, games, or watching videos. The web has evolved with leaps and bounds in the past decade and now has the capability of doing more things than ever. Of course while the web evolves, the web browsers are continually trying to catch up to meet the latest standards the web uses to ensure a smooth end user experience.

I’ve been an avid user of Mozilla Firefox for a few years now and I’ve been very satisfied with its performance in rendering web pages and the tools it offers to make my web experience better. More recently however, I decided to try out Google’s web browser: Google Chrome, which made its debut at the end of 2008. When Google Chrome first released, I was very skeptical about trying or even using it because lots of early adopters complained about frequent crashes and bugs that made the browser act in odd ways. What compelled me to give it a go was the announcement of Google Chrome OS, which is going to be Google’s attempt at building an OS that runs web applications off a Linux kernel and is incredibly lightweight so it runs on netbooks too. Because Google has decided to implement their web browser to a higher level with an operating system that can run underneath it, this convinced me that Google Chrome might possibly be a pretty big thing in the future, which is why I decided to try it.

The initial installation of Google Chrome was very smooth and required no user interaction until it finished asking me if I wanted to import settings and bookmarks from another browser. Upon launching Google Chrome, I noticed one huge change that really makes it stand out from other web browsers: speed. The speed at which Google Chrome launches is absolutely ridiculous. This is because whether or not I have other applications running at the time, the speed at which Google Chrome loads is always consistent in comparison to other browsers.

Feature-wise, Google Chrome has quite a bit to bring to the table. The feature I love best is most likely the multi-process tabs Google Chrome uses. If for example, one of your tabs starts slowing down or stops responding for whatever reason, that tab will close down but leave everything else intact without closing the whole browser. This is possible because Google Chrome uses independent processes for each tab and can be managed via an in-browser task manager that displays information about all currently running processes in each tab. Another great advantage about this setup is security because every tab is independent from the other tabs in the browser; a web page in one tab cannot look at another tab and steal information from it.

The user interface is something I absolutely love because of its minimalist approach while showing you what you need when you need it. Instead of seeing a chunk of my screen devoted to toolbars and buttons, all I see is the Omni-Box which serves as the URL and search box without the need for two separate boxes. This means that the only real piece of the browser you see is at the top of the screen where the Omni-Box is located which means you get more room to view web pages without other toolbar distractions to bother you.

Another interface change Google made is when you load a new page. Oftentimes this page has instructions on what to do with the new tab, loads a blank page or possibly your home page. What Google has done is display nine web page thumbnails of the sites you visit most for quick and easy access to them. There’s also a search box on the right hand side for quickly being able to search your history and a sidebar box for all your recently bookmarked items. The bookmarks bar that most of us are used to seeing or using has also disappeared and is viewable when you load a new tab. There is a preference if you want it visible at all times however.

In the end, I’d highly recommend any and all of you to try out Google Chrome if you haven’t already. Google really did re-design the web browser in a very clean and efficient way and hopefully it will continue to improve as time goes on.

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