Google Chrome for Linux (beta)

Posted: December 12, 2009 in Generally Speaking..

I just had the opportunity to download Google Chrome for Linux yesterday..I believe I was a little late off the mark but in fairness, they were supposed to email me about it when it became available and they didn’t.  So, at any rate I finally got it..I’ve been waiting excitedly as I do love to do these reviews lol..

So, what can I say about Google Chrome for Linux so far?  For one thing, it’s minimal.  I am used to everything under the sun being available with my beloved Opera browser.  Chrome is very minimalistic and there is definitely a large audience that surely appeals to.  For my part, it was a strange feeling but not unpleasant at all.  At first, I couldn’t figure out why it looked a little off and then I realized that by default, the system window decoration is disabled.  Once I enabled that, it looked right, and nice.  There’s not much to it but it is full of rounded edges and smooth lines.  I was taken to a page reminiscent of Opera’s speed dial, where one of the pages was just for themes.  I personally didn’t find any of the so called artist themes to be very good at all, but a couple of Google’s own themes were quite nice and I ended up with a nice deep and dark blue, a color I don’t yet have as one of my now four web browser colors.

The address bar at the top dominates much of the toolbar real estate but that’s okay; it does double duty as a search bar too (with Google of course) and you can add other search engines too..I added them all but Bing since I don’t do Microsuck products.  The new tab page (that has the speed dial like setup) contains your most frequently visited pages, with the option to pin them there to keep permanently or they can change as often as you browse different places.  In the Firefox tradition, there are lots of extensions to choose from.  Of course, one that I had to have was mouse gestures but it proved a difficult task to find one that worked with Linux (take a cue from Opera!)  I also got a Tab manager and a Scroll Searcher that takes whatever text I am searching and finds the isntances of it on the resulting pages and I can click on it and go straight to that text.  I really like that!

There was an option to import settings and bookmarks and such but it didn’t do Flock or Opera and Firefox just takes up real estate on my hard drive and little else.  Tabs are moveable, removeable, and droppable.  Browsing in “incognito” mode keeps your browsing out of the history.  There are several important options to tweak but few overall, keeping with the minimalist nature.  Last but not quite least is the web page options button that drops down for cut/paste options and so forth.  The address bar slides out when needed and hides when it’s not.

As to browsing itself..I had mixed emotions on it.  There for the first few times I searched things and periodically afterwards, this browser gets my highest honor of “Wow-fast.”  Then, at other times, it’s slow, usually when doing a keyword search..this could be one of the extensions I installed, no idea.  I will keep an eye on it in the future. 

To summarize, I enjoyed the experience of using this browser and will keep it around to see what else it can do.  It is very intuitive and there’s no real learning curve to it at all, making it super newbie friendly for anyone.

Blogged with the Flock Browser
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