So, Google has released a browser called Chrome. So far it’s only for Windows, and is being called beta, but Gmail is still beta, so whatever.
The install is nifty, it automagically imports all your Firefox settings, including saved passwords (!). This is rather nice, because I have a bunch of random passwords for sites (like this blog) that are only saved in my browser and some obscure text file or email somewhere, and I’d have to go dig them up if it didn’t suck the settings across.
So far it seems like a pretty good browser, though I haven’t done much aside from access Google properties (Reader, Mail). While these are admittedly a lot of what I use a browser for, they’re also likely Google’s optimization targets, so they’d better work really well. We’ll see how it does with other stuff down the road.
One interesting concept with Chrome is that separate tabs are separate processes. This is good and bad – it uses more memory, but if a site crashes the browser it only affects that tab (in theory, I haven’t tested this yet), and you can kill off that process. If this works as advertised it’d be really good, because I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to restart Firefox because a tab has hung.
I also really like the
about:memory feature (also linked as “Stats for nerds” off the built-in task manager), which shows not only detailed data about Chrome, and also shows memory stats for any other browser you’re running. Excellent for comparisons, which I’m sure is the point.
Now if only Google would give me Offline reading for Gmail. Maybe some day…