Initial thoughts on Google Chrome

When I wrote the last post, Google Chrome seemed like vaporware, but just as I hit publish, a release time was announced for later that day. Now that I’ve had a chance to have a play with the beta, here’s a brain dump of initial reactions:

  • It’s fast and nimble. In a Camino way.
  • It looks like a Fisher Price browser. Simplicity is good, but the style is very child-like, and it makes me worry about the OS X version* (Update: I think the Fisher-priceness is more of an XP issue, it looks much better on Vista). I thought the tab icons were nicely executed though:
  • The location bar search is much better than I thought - giving solid URLs rather than just a ‘search Google for X’ option. For example, typing ‘Jeremy Ke’ brings up ‘’.
  • It doesn’t look as if the ‘drawing layer’ in Chrome is quite up to scratch yet. It shows my naivety that I though such things were all part and parcel of Webkit, but it seems not. Text-shadow and border-radius in particular are broken.
  • It does include the Webkit Web Inspector, so right-clicking reveals the familiar ‘Inspect Element’ command.
  • I mentioned yesterday about the problem of multiple tabs, and lo, it was a problem. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s a beta, yadda, yadda.
  • The ‘New Tab’ view is more useful than I thought it would be, with it’s inclusion of history and recently bookmarked and closed tabs.
  • It does allow the use of other search engines, which is a good sign.

It’s a fairly promising start, but it feels more like a browser I would recommend to my parents than use myself. It also worries me using a Google browser, it feels like too many eggs in one basket. Or too many potentially prying eyes?

*Just found out that Mike Pinkerton, the Camino lead is working on the OS X version as we speak. I feel more hopeful about the OS X UI now.


Call Jon Hicks on +44 (0)7917 391536
Tweet @hicksdesign

Hicks Design
Elmfield House
New Yatt Road
Witney, OX28 1PB
United Kingdom