Chrome? What's chrome about it?

Summary:Maybe somebody at Google is a Paul Simon fan and was thinking of the tune "KodaChrome" but to prevent trademark issues.....It does do pictures very nicely.

Maybe somebody at Google is a Paul Simon fan and was thinking of the tune "KodaChrome" but to prevent trademark issues.....

It does do pictures very nicely. Everything looks sharp and clean even on sites that previously looked like crap in FireFox and IE.

I downloaded the Chrome beta and played with it for a few hours yesterday and today. I wasn't really impressed at all with it. Its way too early to release as a "Beta". It plays/renders websites alright. From a "user" viewpoint it doesn't really do much other than integrate the URL bar with the search bar. You can type rubbish in the URL window and Google will pop open a search results page based on what you type.

Google seems to be doing its usual "marketing" research by releasing something that more or less works and then listens to chumps like us that write about it. I am not a fan of the Google Desktop Search program but its pretty obvious that is a smart thing to look at integrating into Chrome. Picasa is also a likely future "component" but I found it even more annoying than Windows indexing service.

Another item I find annoying is that the Chrome URL/Search window doesn't operate like the FireFox Awesome bar. If you start by typing www.something it ought to make the match and when you slide down or cursor down to the URL it ought to open the damn website NOT go to Google's search results.

Try typing www.source (about here it has sourceforge.net listed at the bottom of the list) it pops open the "awesome bar window" and starts populating it with URLs and search results. Slide down to www.Sourceforge.net and hit enter, it dumps to Google search results. I tried other strings like www.sun and www.volks(wagen). Sometimes the website got listed sometimes not. Typing http: first seems to "semi-kill" the automatic search function, sometimes not. Bad idea Google, forcing a second click is a pain-in-the-ass. It runs up your Ad views but doesn't really help the user out who knows what he wants.

It needs to be "skinned". I'm sorry but I hated Windows XP's new theme and icons when it came out and I still hate them. Chrome seems to take the "rounded-cuteness" to an extreme. I'm not in the Teletubbies Generation and I really can't stand "fisher-price" primary color schemes. Grow up Google.

I looked at the history function. Good grief! It looks like it takes down every freaking keystroke or mouse movement. Makes me think I've installed a keystroke logger.

The back button needs a drop-down list like FireFox3 and IE7 to by-pass revisiting everything you want to jump back-over.

If there is a link, even an internal one, then it needs to open in a tab when its selected that way. I'm speaking of the "show history link" on the front page of Chrome. When left-clicked it opens a long history log of what you've been doing. When right-clicked and "New Tab" is selected it should open the history in a new tab not just an new empty tabbed page.

It doesn't seem to know about Windows media player plugins. When you can get video to play, its obvious that there is some frame dropping going on. News videos I watched on FireFox or IE played without obvious jerkiness. Chrome seemed to be dumping frames fairly frequently even on small video windows on Yahoo.com and CNN.com.

It also is disconnected in interesting ways from the OS. Like right-clicking on an image should allow you to save it as the desktop background, it doesn't do that. Right-clicking on the top edge of the page frame opens a menu that has the usual options Win32 gives a windows program plus "Task Manager" which turns out to be Chrome's Task Manager not Windows'.

There are a few things I semi-liked. The thumbnails of the previously visited websites is a cute trick. How about an option to set the number of thumbnails to larger numbers than 9 or offer the user the opportunity to just have a text link to the website instead of a thumbnail?

Take it another step, allow collections or folders to be organized on the opening page. A home page doesn't have to be on a website.

Open all bookmarks is slick.

The render engine for the webpages seems to be very good and fast. It will allow you to save or view the picture in other applications. It also will put the picture automatically on a second tab when clicking on a link to a jpg without shutting down main tab for the site, nice touch.

Now for a browser feature whose time has come. Print as or Save As a PDF should be an option available on every web browser not just Chrome. Google has an opportunity here to jump over the competition. OpenOffice & StarOffice can do it so its obvious that they could do it with Chrome, the software has serious potential.

Topics: Hardware

About

I was programming in Fortran before the Internet or C existed and I hated it. (Try programming with 80 column IBM punch cards!) I have been designing NT 4.0, XP and Win 7 Embedded data acquisition and display systems for nearly 15 years. My interest in Linux servers and workstations crystallized after I beta-tested Vista and Windows Ho... Full Bio

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