Hello Google Chrome, welcome to the internet

This week saw the launch of the internet’s newest web browser, Google Chrome and what kind of frontend developer would I be if I didn’t give it a quick review?

Screenshot of Google Chrome in action

Google Chrome is only available for Windows right now so Mac users will have to wait for the time being. Although to be honest, Google Chrome isn’t enough to switch people from Safari nor Firefox for that matter. However, it is more than enough to encourage people to switch from Internet Explorer 6 and 7.

As a developer, I’ll continue to use Firefox (for now) because the Web Developer toolbar, Firebug, LiveHTTPHeaders and all the other add-ons are just too good to be without.

Target market

Where I hope Google Chrome (terrible name by the way), will catch on is with a less technically-minded audience. Provided Google can convince them to download it (and if anyone can Google can) then this will be a major success that could really reduce the number of people using Internet Explorer to the minority.


Some people have criticised the new browser’s looks but, for me, I think it looks just fine. It doesn’t look garish nor does it look boring and I think it will appeal to the audience it is aimed at perfectly.

I do think that the choice of name, Chrome, is a bit bizarre. Safari, Netscape and Internet Explorer are great browser names – they give the user the idea that they are exploring the world which is what you do when you go online. Internet Explorer is an especially great name, because it literally tells the user what it is for whereas Chrome doesn’t at all but as the Chrome brand develops this will probably become a trivial non-issue.

Usability and speed

I can’t really fault Chrome for how it works. Prior to downloading it I thought having the tabs above the address bar would be weird but it isn’t at all. In fact, it may more sense in many ways. In terms of speed, I haven’t noticed it to be particularly quicker than other browsers but then I haven’t used it extensively yet.

What do you think?

Have you downloaded Google chrome yet? What are your thoughts?

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