Several years ago, when I was riding the Linux wave and enjoying Firefox, I was finding out that Google was planning to release its own browser. Good for them, I thought, but I don't know how they could create something better than Mozilla's top of the line Firefox...
They didn't, but in seven years since its introduction, Chrome became the most popular browser on the planet, with over 60% market share. That means you're probably using it and then there's nothing more to say, now is it? Still, just in case you're currently seeing this on another browser, or are using Chrome but have no idea what a special animal it is, read on.
Technically, Chrome is a bit different than the competition by how it treats open tabs. Each tab you open in Chrome is a separate process. That means that if one web site locks up, you can simply close its process without affecting the other tabs (theoretically).
Being made by Google, logging into Chrome on different devices will keep the open tabs in sync. Therefore you only need to open a tab on your laptop to be able to read it on your tablet while in the bathroom or the like. Of course, you will also have your entire browsing information in sync. Logging in will also log you into Gmail, YouTube Google Drive and Google+.
The most distinctive feature are the Apps. The Apps are displayed on a dedicated page and are a mixture of web links and actual embedded applications. For example, Sketchpad opens in a separate window independent of Chrome while "YouTube" simply links to the well known domain. They can also be launched from Chrome App Launcher, a program that comes with the browser and is essentially a pop-up menu for launching the desired App.
Apps can be added to Chrome from the Web Store, which looks similar to Google Play or the AppStore. From there you can also install regular extensions and themes.
Performance wise, Chrome is pretty fit, although it's not much faster than Firefox or Opera. The buttons are small enough to keep the window as wide as possible and every option can be accessed via a single menu button.
- Data synchronization with a Google account
- Extension library
- Web Store - add apps, themes, extensions and links to your dashboard
- Lightweight and responsive
- Perfect with a companion Android device
- I'm still in love with Firefox
Chrome's quality is attested by its huge and growing user base. It is in the top because it strives to be ergonomic and fast and so far it has done a terrific job.