Google Chrome released today for Windows XP and Vista, since this is the first release i was not expecting much from the browser, but Google Chrome is awesome. It is fast, looks good and renders web pages perfectly, and all the web pages i visited rendered normally with out any quirks. What else you want from a browser.
Download Google Chrome from here if you haven’t already done so. While installing Google Chrome it will ask if you want to import bookmarks, passwords and other settings from Mozilla Firefox, do that if you wish and wait for it to finish the installation.
After installation fir up Chrome, first thing you will notice is that the tabs are arranged on top of the browser, this way it is much better i feel.
You can access options by clicking the tools icon from the top right corner of the browser. Here you will find the browser settings.
Home Page Settings
You can leave the home page as it is, in this case you will see your most visited pages as thumbnails (something like Opera Speed dial feature), and in the right side you will see a search box to search your history and shows recently bookmarked pages.
Go to options by clicking the tools icon on the right corner of the browser, in Basic tab you can set your home page.
If you select “Open the home page option, you can set the home page to your favorite site URL in the “Home Page” section.
If you want to open more than one page on startup select the “Open the following pages” option, and then click “Add” button, you will see all the URLs you opened here, select from the list or just enter the URL and click “Add”. Next time onwards when you open Chrome it will load all those pages.
You can also use the option “Restore the pages that were open last” to open last closed tabs.
If you want to see the home button in the browser bar, you can click the option “Show home button on the toolbar”
From “Under the hood tab” in options you can set security options like malware protection, and set preferences for Google Gears, network settings etc.
One interesting feature of Google Chrome is the Task Manger, you can access this from developer menu by clicking the top right “page” icon. Task manager shows all the instances of the Google chrome browser, that is for each tab it shows a record with memory, CPU usage and Network. This is quite helpful if you want to see the applications that are eating most of your memory and to kill them. There is also a link in the task manager that reads “Stats for nerds”, if you click that link it shows detailed stats of the memory it is using. Note, if you have other browsers opened it will show those stats also here.
It allows you to create shortcuts for web applications using Gears, Gears got this feature in June
Privacy Mode aka incognito mode
Incognito mode is the privacy mode of the Google Chrome, web pages you visit in this mode won’t appear in your browser history or search history, and other traces like cookies will be deleted when you close the incognito window. On the other hand if you download anything and save pages as bookmarks those will be preserved.
You can recognize the incognito window using the incognito icon, it will be displayed on the left hand corner of the browser.
Be aware that incognito mode doesn’t store any information on your system, but it is not an anonymous browsing tool, check here for more information.
Overall Google Chrome looks awesome with some interesting and useful features. The browser is amazingly fast and never crashed, Mozilla Firefox 3 on the other hand crashes regularly. I will use Google Chrome for next couple of days and see, if it works this way i will shift from Firefox to Google Chrome. Only one thing that holds from using it regularly is missing add-ons that are in Firefox. Since this is an open source browser we may see most of the popular add-ons of Firefox will gen updated for Google Chrome. There is one important caveat in this browser, that is it is using lot of memory of you open number of tabs. Of course you can pin point which ones are eating most of the memory but still it uses lot of memory, i think in the next versions this will be improved.
Have you tried it, if not download it from here, it is worth trying. If you have alreday tried what do you think of it?.