I was finally able to test drive a developer release for Google Chrome for Mac over the weekend, and within three minutes of using the browser, I made Chrome my default web browser. I gladly retired my long, and tepid, association with Firefox.
Here are some gut reactions for my Google Chrome experience:
1. Chrome knows the difference between my Gmail account and my Google Apps account. Chrome appreciates the need for differential logins and passwords and I don’t have to “trick” Chrome into thinking I’m two different users in order to login to my separate Google accounts as I must with Firefox.
2. Chrome, unlike Firefox, does not give me HTTPS errors when I am logged in to my Google Apps services.
3. What? No Google Gears support? I don’t care if this is an early developer release, you can’t release ANY version of a Google browser without integrated Gears support. Period!
4. I love the Chrome Tabs and History.
5. I hate not having my Ad Blocker under Chrome. I suppose Google will never make it easy to remove internet advertising — but boy, oh boy — so many sites are so ugly with all those banner ads and text pitches pushing into your eye. I miss the quiet browsing experience that Firefox offers when it comes to removing the seller tsouris.
6. I miss my “back” browser mouse gesture. I set up a Logitech mouse button to provide the same function, but that is not as natural as merely sweeping my hand leftward.
7. I can’t seem to get my Bookmarks managed or my Bookmarks Bar to work. I don’t know if that’s a Google Chrome problem or an Xmarks alpha issue. It is, however, really annoying.
8. My life is pretty much run by Google Apps and now, having a native browser from Google to run my Google online life, is a great and seamless integration: Everything just works better now.
9. Google Wave is misbehaving. I wrote two new Waves in Firefox before I made the switchover and those new Waves never appeared. I then fired up Chrome and didn’t see those Waves anywhere. It’s been 15 hours now and I guess those Waves — one of them was eerily entitled “Google Wave Suggestions” — are lost in the ether.
10. As well, Google Wave is not handling labels very well. Waves appear to come and go and the label application to a Wave is not sticking and it is not instant. Be wary! I don’t know if these problems are caused by Google Wave or Google Chrome — or a witches brew between the two — but I do know I wouldn’t do anything important in Google Wave right now unless and until there’s a better, and more direct, method for getting help from Google.
In sum, Google Chrome for Mac is a clear winner. Chrome is a delight to use, it is incredibly fast in loading pages and even in its infancy — Google Chrome is already a mature masterpiece.