Google Chrome, First Impression

Like many of us, I’ve spent much time yesterday evaluating Google Chrome. Here are some of my thoughts about Chrome:

While many features are missing from Chrome, I should note the exceptional design and
attention to details. Chrome is so usable, you can easily miss its features. For example, try to open many tabs, and than start closing them by middle clicking, or the close button. While you close tabs, Chrome does not resize them until you move away, so after one tab is closed, the next appears on the same spot. And the link destination status-bar, moving out of the window gracefully when the mouse is near it.

Google Chrome Screenshot

Google Chrome Screenshot

And “find in page” highlights the word automatically, and also highlights the scrollbar to where these results are. Nice one. These are small details, of course, but I think they show how well the interface is though out.
I was fairly impressed by the so-called omnibar, Chrome’s Url bar. I didn’t find it a lot better that Firefox’s bar though. Also, a lot has been said of Chrome’s speed and memory footprint. I’ll admit, I wish Firefox load pages this fast…

Some obvious things I miss on Chrome:

  1. List of open tabs – I could not find a list of all open tabs. Ctrl+Esc shows a list of all processes, but I cannot select tabs from there.
  2. Multiple Tabs – I can move one tab to a new window, but what about a group of tabs, or uniting windows? I’d expect selecting tabs with Shift or Ctrl, but no.
  3. Non-standard Interface – Google redraws the interface, and the obviously didn’t want to include a status bar at the bottom of their window. One thing they forgot: that little gripper at the corner that resizes the window. Not visible even with both scollbars visible.
  4. Popup blocker – The blocked windows looks like a title of a window on the bottom of the current tab, hiding the bottom of the page and the horizontal scrollbar. I think the Firefox \ Explorer way is more comfortable, although they can move the information bar to the bottom, if they like. Chrome’s way is distracting, almost like a popup. and gets in the way, like a popup.
  5. Default language – I’m Israeli, that’s true. But I use an English system. Chrome default language was Hebrew, without any warning. The setup was English, and the download site. Even after I changed the interface to English, I had to remove Israeli search engines and manually change the omnibar’s search to English.
  6. Plugins! – It’s a different web with adblock. And I miss changing tabs with the mouse wheel.
  7. Rss support – I click on an RSS file, and I see it’s content as if it was HTML. Ok, I don’t think a browser needs an RSS reader. I don’t even think browsers need bookmarks. But at least ask me what I want to do with it, or display XML nicely. Well, I’m sure this feature will come.

And lastly, some (two) links:

Chrome security hole
About pages – comments have some bugs, with a sure way to crash Chrome. It’s ok. It’s new.