Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Google makes yet another bid to run your life

So Google is now competing with Explorer and Firefox with their newest application, Chrome.  And I said, "Sure, just go ahead and take control of more of my online information and habits."  I mean, besides being my search engine, they already own this blog, my email, and a lot of my documents; keep track of my feed reading habits and my addresses, and maintain some of the code I've written; as well as being providing a desktop search application and a fun geographical visualization toy.  Did I leave anything out?

I can't say I'm not worried about them either turning evil or just disappearing someday.  But damn it, I can't help myself... I really LIKE having all the stuff I need online where I can access it from home, work, and any other computer in the world.  I suppose if Google does become an evil power, this is probably what it will look like.  It wouldn't be the first time that "The Onion" printed something that turned out to predict reality.

In the meantime... yes, I'm typing this from Google Chrome.  I am weak.  It doesn't even support any plugins, and yet for the moment I'm willing to use it even without themes, mouse gestures, ad blockers, or even getting my bookmarks updated automatically by del.icio.us.

A few points in Chrome's favor so far:

  1. It starts up VERY FAST compared to the other browsers... although this might have something to do with the lack of plugins.
  2. It has a very compact interface, and does a lot of creative things to keep the screen space clean, like sticking the "search page" bar in one place.
  3. As you're typing an address, it automatically searches for likely completions and shows you the name of the page where you'd wind up.  (To be fair, Firefox 3 also appears to do something like this.)
  4. Searches and URLs are entered in the same box.  Usually it makes the correct choice, but you can pick from a menu to clarify what you want.
  5. When you open a tab, it shows you your favorite web destinations, along with thumbnail images of what they look like right now.
  6. You can drag tabs outside the window to create a new window, or drag a tab from one window to another.
All pretty cool.  Firefox (my primary browser) might imitate some of the new hotness, but for now I'm keeping Chrome Beta as my default browser, and I'll look forward to seeing what they release in the next few patches.

6 comments:

  1. No RSS and shaky sound and flash - at least on my system. I will stick to Firefox until a few of the teething problems are sorted.

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  2. Downloaded it, still too early to say whether I like it or not.

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  3. what they said, but it is interresting as a extension to all the other things that is google.

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  4. Darned google, why must it try to 1up all the products I've grown comfortable with? First Google search beat out msn(not live, msn. Long time ago), then Gmail killed hotmail, and then google decided they wanted usenet, then youtube, and they own blogspot, and now they are trying to kill my firefox. All I'm waiting for is the google task force to break down my door and replace my computer with a new google one that has a googol bytes of ram, and a special google operating system.

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  5. Um, yeah... that Google OS MIGHT be here sooner than you think....

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  6. All those mock conspiracy sites about google taking over the earth...they were inadvertently right. Which browser I ultimately will use is up to the modding community. I have certain plug-ins they are necessary, and if chrome can't support them or get similar programs then Firefox is my choice as of now.

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