This week Google has released the first beta version of their brand new browser called Google Chrome.
It is currently only available for the Windows platform. Mac OS and Linux versions are coming soon.
Google Chrome is based on the open-source browser engine Webkit.
Here is a list of the 5 features I mostly liked on Chrome:
1. More space for browsing – less toolbars
Chrome has an incredibly minimal layout, which gives the user more space for browsing than any other browser. Tabs are placed on the very top of the browser window, so there is no menu bar. Moreover Chrome introduced a nice little feature which replaces the usual always-on status bar. While loading a Web page or hovering over links, the corresponding hyperlinks are being displayed on the bottom-left corner of the browser and then disappear (see the above image).
2. Tab / Task Manager
Each tab on Google Chrome is running on a separate process thread. This is the most powerful Chrome feature, as it can keep the browser alive even if one of the opened tabs is not responding. Chrome is kind enough to provide distinct Memory and CPU information for every tab. It even gives the choice to terminate one of the tabs (reminds of Windows Task Manager).
3. Embedded developer tools
4. One box to rule them all (address / history / search)
Another innovative idea of Google Chrome is the use of a single box for typing Web addresses, searching the Web, and browser history. As shown on the image above, by simply typing on the address box, all possible actions are being displayed.
5. Overall super-fast performance
Chrome was designed from the ground-up to perform better than any other browser. In terms of memory consumption, Chrome is definitely doing very well, spending less RAM than its competitors do. However what matters most, are the amazing fast Web page loading/rendering times. Besides the efficient Webkit engine, two other Chrome features contribute to the good performance.
The second one is the DNS-prefetching option, which automatically pre-resolves for every hyperlink found in a page, the IP address. Therefore if the user decides to click on a link, there will be no waiting time for the DNS query.
Google Chrome is still not ready to become my default browser. Firefox is by far a more superior and robust browser. However remember that this was the very first Chrome beta public release, while Firefox is already in version 3.0.1.
I would love to see some of the above mentioned features in future Firefox releases.
It would also be interesting to follow Chrome’s development roadmap, and see how long it’s gonna take for it to get a respectable market share.