You’ve probably read about Google’s new release of it’s Chrome browser and possibly read blog posts about the new challenge to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox.
The question is: Should you install it?
As Status_Girl AKA Melanie Nathan notes: Chrome has an accompanying 38-page cartoon explaining how it works. I’m not sure how many would spend the time to read the pretty techy cartoon, but it reads more like a graphic novel, than a mere cartoon.
Still, there’re reports that it’s a fast browser.
I’ve noticed that on sites like my buddy Amit Mehta’s SuperAffiliateMindset, the inclusion of widget and/or tracking code from MyBlogLog, BlogCatalog, BlogSkinny, Blog Rush and others might trip Chrome up. Making me think that the browser is optimized for HTML content.
Chrome doesn’t have the RSS auto-discovery features of Firefox (meaning you can’t click on the RSS icon if the browser skims through the site to locate a RSS feed). So you either have to look for a RSS icon or link and click on it. Or you can try permutations of domain-name.com/RSS to try to locate it.
To read RSS feeds, you’ll need a web-based RSS Reader like Google Reader or Bloglines.
Affiliate Marketers take note:
I was initially concerned that Chrome might have the cookie-crunching “feature” of Apple’s Safari browser. Safe to say, the default setting is to “Accept all cookies”, which we should be rejoicing. No affiliate tracking cookie, no affiliate commission, so this is a good thing.
I tested it via an affiliate link and the tracking cookie lodged.
I’m just a little concerned that cookies (located via the “Options” and “Under the Hood” pulldown menu) have 3 settings –
- Accept all cookies
- Restrict how third party cookies are used
- Block all cookies
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that users don’t opt for option #3.
Chrome’s Achilles Heel
Here’s where Chrome’s advantages and shortfalls are apparent.
Yes, you have tabbed browsing, you can even pull out the tabs into their own separate windows (kinda “Apple-like” in a way).
But it’s not without a price.
I did an informal benchmark with Mozilla Firefox, opening 3 tabbed browser sessions in each browser:
While Firefox (shown as firefox.com above) is a single session of 69 megabytes of RAM, Chrome’s 3 sessions (labelled as chrome.exe above) take up a total of a whopping 104 megabytes of memory. Nearly double of what Firefox uses!
Google Chrome: 4 separate processes
But when you look at Firefox:
Mozilla Firefox: a single process
The opening of separate processes means that you’ll be able to pull out and put back each browsing session, collapsing it into a single browser or breaking it up.
No wonder users are saying that the collapse of a single “tab” leaves the other tabs intact…that’s because each tab is a discrete browser session!
Google Chrome sports a couple of cool touches like a graphical history of recently visited sites:
If you’re an internet surfer who uses 1-3 tabs in your surfing, Chrome might be faster than your regular browser.
BUT, if you’re a power user who regularly has 10-20 tabs open AND you need the SEO/analytics plugins that Firefox offers, I strongly discourage you from moving to Chrome. (at least till more plugins are developed for the open source browser).
A couple of unknowns: How do you manage Chrome’s browser cache?
Bottomline: Install Chrome as a preview tool to see how your websites look through the new browser.
But using Chrome as your workhorse browser? I’d hold off for a couple of months.