Few days back at 19th November 2009, we got the final news about Google Chrome OS that this project is being open-sourced and the OS will actually come to market by end of 2010. The related video are given below:
The same news ignited me to collect some info around Chrome and special things about it. Before the OS itself, in this article I thought to limit myself to Google Chrome Browser only this time.
You have many browser choices out there, if you have Windows then you see the world from the eyes of Internet Explorer, if its MacOS, then your world get flashlights in face of Safari , if its any flavour of Linux, then you are most likely to get the wing from Firefox and if its mobile then you must have seen Opera.
Due to constant updating features and blazing fast performance than other browsers, we already see Firefox racing in front of the giant Internet Explorer in the market share. I really wonder if there is any place left for a new browser and yet the innovator Giant Google announces a new browser, then there must be some means and strong backing behind the same. The core of this concept is around Web 2.0, Chrome was build up from the ground up for Web 2.0 and the focus always remained on speed, security and reliability throughout the visionary design process.
Basically, Internet apps now days takes more than what we known from long as simple HTML. All the other browser started from simple keeping that HTML in mind and then adding on capabilities and so over the time, browsers were sure bulky and slow as first apps has to load then the browser. You must have noticed that how much time Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari takes in opening just the first blank page.
“ This all has gone under a big change with, what we calling the Google Chrome Browser. Chrome takes advantage of new technology from ground up, which runs most of these advance features without using as much memory as old browsers do now. It means that Chrome Browser opens up quickly when you clicked it and so for the tabs. You will fee the performance, when you open up Internet Apps designed for Web 2.0, like Google’s sites and services. ”
So, here we know, why its attractive to pick up. Let’s see more deeper. It got best all, Tabs, Speed Dials with screenshots, Security Features, themes and yet the simplest interface to compete from any other rivals.
The Omnibox (New address bar): Its unique feature (although Firefox also have it in a way) is its Omnibox, which we know as Address Bar. In Omnibox, Google Chrome has combined the address bar, the search bar, the search from other sites and a little more. Let’s put the points over some of the features:
1- Link Navigation: The most basic thing of browser to type in address in address bar, has got more wing with added help and suggestions from web, from your history and making to type much lesser keys then ever with its real time suggestions.
2- Web Search: You could type anything to search for in the Omnibox and you get will to the search results of any search provider (Google is default one).
3- Web-History Search: It makes it much easier to search within pages, you already visited. Just type a keywords from middle and it will pick up whole link you visited. Isn’t this cool for most of us?
4- Bookmarks: Google now have provided Bookmark sync through Google Account itself, which enables user to have their bookmarks everywhere they logged in, but even if you are not using that it combines local and google’s bookmarks of yours and provide real time suggestions, while you type in the Omnibox, aiding you at its best to reach out your site.
5- Search out of search engines: This is a feature, right now lesser people know about. You want to search something in YouTube, type in YouTube.com in Omnibox and it will display message like “Press TAB to search YouTube.com”, press tab and you will get “Search Youtube.com: ” written in Omnibox and then type in any word after the colon and here you go.
For the people caring about their privacy concerns from these above mention features, there are option to control most of the features, even could have separate profiles with little tweaking. And above all, you have option of incognito windows, opened by Ctrl+Shift+N, in which whatever you do, don’t get recorded in history. Unlike Firefox’s Private browsing, it doesn’t shut off the other opened windows means you could work in normal windows and incognito windows at the same time :).
I am dammn sure that this Omnibox has started changing the way we see browsing for the people, who has started using it. Just give it a few mins and it starts learning your preferences on its own. You open Chrome again and it shows your frequently visited pages with their snapshots within 60 seconds to choose upon like speed dial.
Playing with the TABs: TABs became an integral part of browsing experience with all browsers, even then Chrome found new ways to improve them. With easy drag and drop, you can change the order of TABs and even pull them out for become a new chrome window. Moreover, technically each TAB runs in a separate process, so even if one page crashes, other TABs are safe and in most of the cases, your whole browser doesn’t crashes.
The simplest toolbar: Forget the days, having a tool/menu bar having menus like File, Edit, View, Favourites, Tools etc. You got just easiest thing, the browser. There is an Start Button for easy Bookmarks, Refresh Button, Navigation for Back-n-Forward and a triangular Go button with Page Menu and Settings Men next to it, that’s it.
Page / Settings/ Options Menu: There is just two menu, having it including option to Text Zoom. You have options to make applications shortcut like for Google Docs, Google Sites, Gmail, Google Maps etc (Thanks to built in Google Gears).
Bookmark Bar: Chrome claims to having most happening bookmark system in browsing world right now. Just click on star button and you get easiest options for this one click bookmark. In rest of the things, it got all that arranging in folder and whenever you want to see bookmark bar, then just press Ctrl+B. When your bookmarks grow in hundreds then search is always inbuilt.
Security, sandboxing and safe browsing: Malware and phishing are two main problems that affect users conviction and assurance on the Internet. In the present time, malware is a very important aspect as it is related to stealing passwords and other documents. With SANDBOXING – a new feature prevents malware from installing itself on your computer. Your passwords and documents are at a safer hand – so, why worry.
Google chrome’s task manager: Just like your own CPU, you can now monitor sites that are using most of the memory, downloading the most bytes and interrupting in browsing sites you are working on – so, just eliminate them and work efficiently without any mess. In addition, you can also see plugins that are associated with the tab.
Although there are much to discuss about in world of advanced features with plugins, hidden features etc but that will lengthen this article much more. So, ending just here with the request that if you haven’t tried Google Chrome, then just give it a try and that’s it.
Saving time with keyboard shortcuts
Use these keyboard shortcuts to take some stress off your mouse. Here are a few mostly used shortcut keys for a quick reference (Full list is here).
Ctrl+T Open a new tab.
Ctrl+W Close the current tab.
Ctrl+Tab Cycle through current tabs.
Ctrl+N Open a new window.
Ctrl+Shift+N Open a new incognito window.
Ctrl+Shift+T Open the last tab you closed.
Alt+Home Open your Home page.
Ctrl+L Jump to the Omnibox.
Ctrl+K Search for a word in the
Ctrl+F Find text in an open page.
Ctrl++ Increase the font size.
Ctrl+- Decrease the font size.
Ctrl+0 Restore the normal font size.
Ctrl+B Always show the Bookmarks bar.
Ctrl+H Open your browsing history.
Ctrl+J Load your Downloads page.
Ctrl+P Print the current tab.
Shift+Esc Open the Tab Task Manager.
And at the end for knowing Google’s vision over Chrome, the famous comics is always here. For more interested people, I will recommend reading the book Google Sites and Chrome for Dummies.
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