Released a couple of weeks ago, Google Chrome, Google’s new web browser has received a lot of attention. We promised you a review of the browser– and if it is better than your current Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera or Firefox — and after playing with it for a bit, we have our opinion. Hit the more link for all the details.

Features:

  • Sleek “Chrome” Design –  The little touches of blue-tinted chrome coloring surrounding the entire design of the browser provides the interface a clean, sleek look (and explain why Google Chrome is called Google Chrome).
  • New Search-Enabled Address Bar — Try this: instead of going to a separate box if you want to search Google, you type your query directly into the address bar, and voila, Chrome takes you right to the Google page of your search term (you can use other search engines by the way like Windows Live, AOL or Yahoo!). Adding icing on the cake, a drop-down menu appears when using the address bar, offering you to direct your search to our beloved Wikipedia, or a more specific Google search term based on your words (ex. typing cookie displays cookie jar, lyrics, and cookie recipe).
  • Tabs- First thing you’ll really notice in Chrome. Unlike the other browsers, the tabs are at the top above the address bar (the tabs are “mini windows” in one browser, and is the place you enter in the site you wanna go to, i.e. facebook.com or teentechblog.com ;) ). It takes a little adjustment but it works nicely. Furthermore, when opening a new tab, you’ll be instantly “greeted” to an extremely helpful page including 6 “Most Visited” mini-windows, a Browsing History search bar, a recent bookmarks column, and a recently closed tabs column as well — in other words, just about any place you probably intend on visiting, only now a click away.

    Google Chrome's Interface and Tab Page

    Google Chrome Interface and Tabs

  • Open Source code — For all the programmers out there this is good news to you (especially those who did that Instinct developers contest). What this does is enable users to add to the browser or embed the browser within another program. And back to Instinct developers- how about getting you guys a “real browser”, maybe this one modeled after Chrome (which happens to be based on Apple’s Safari- you know the browser on the iPhone…. Looks like there could be some real nice competition here :) ).
  • Possible Browser in Android — While we’re still unsure exactly how this is going to happen (hey- we don’t even know that much about Android in general!), Chrome will be integrated into Google’s Android OS used on cell phones and non-computer devices. We predict this may be Google’s attempt to replicate the full web on a phone, a feature Apple’s iPhone-Safari relationship is known for.
  • Tab-Separating “Task Manager” — Correcting a long-standing issue with tabs, Task Manager treats each tab as an individual window on your computer. So if one of your tabs happens to freeze, the other tabs will still function, instead of the whole browser crashing and taking all of the tabs down with it, losing all of your information. My browser has yet to crash so I can’t really tell you how much this feature sticks to its word, but people have been giving it mixed reviews.

Drawbacks:

  • Slower than Firefox 3- This may be mostly insignificant to some, but there were times in my use where Chrome was much slower than Firefox 3- which by the way, is arguably the fastest of the browsers out there.
  • No Mac support- This should be coming soon, but for Google to really make a dent in the browser market they need to get this out sooner rather than later.
  • Still in Beta (testing) version — Not as clean as the others, and a lot of the kinks in the browser need to be worked out, but then again this has only been out for a couple of weeks.
  • Privacy Policy Issues- In short, Google has to clean this up or else a lot of people will be very angry (See here for much greater detail).

Final Verdict:

Chrome has many pluses, but its defects right now are pretty substantial, though much of those drawbacks should be cleaned up over the next few months. While I don’t suggest replacing you Firefox 3 just yet, Chrome has a lot of potential, and once the final edition rolls out- it may very well be better than Firefox, and be the best browser out there.

What do you think– is this going to take over your day-to-day web browsing? Has it already? Let us know in the comments.

For those who want to download Google Chrome, you can do so here.