Breezy Browsing with Google Chrome

Most people spend the majority of their time on their computer on the internet – you’re either checking your email, reading blog posts, shopping for products, watching videos, editing documents, or a million other things.

Naturally, it’s quite important what web browser you’re going to use – it’s the window through which you can view anything on the internet. You want your web browser to be fast, simple to use, have all the features you want, and work as it’s supposed to. Google’s browser Chrome does all this and more.

The User Interface

Chrome's Main Interface

Chrome's Main Interface

Right off the bat, Chrome is strikingly simple and basic. Google sure emphasized “the simplest of browsers” idea. On the top, you can see all tabs you have open. Your tabs expand or shrink depending how many you have open, so they always fit, and you can easily rearrange the order your tabs are in by clicking and dragging a tab to wherever you want it to be.

Right below your tabs is the traditional navigation buttons and the Omnibar. Using the Omnibar, and depending on what you type in, you can enter a web address, see search suggestions, sift through any past sites you’ve visited, and look at relevant bookmarks you’ve made. Using the Omnibar, you don’t need to go to google.com to search; you can just type in whatever you were going to search and hit enter.

Then comes the bookmarks bar. Any bookmarks you’ve saved to the bookmarks bar will show up here waiting to be used.

Under these are eight of your most viewed websites: when you first download Chrome, these will be empty, but Chrome quickly learns which websites you visit the most often and puts them here.

Chrome Sync

In this day and age, it’s not uncommon to have multiple computers: your desktop at work, your laptop at home, and the netbook you bring to business trips. It’s a pain to manually transfer your bookmarks, history, and passwords for your browser from one browser to another.

Chrome solves this problem with a sync system – you simply sign in with your Google account (you already have one if you have a gmail or youtube account, but if you don’t, signing up is easy), and any changes you make will instantly change on all the other places you have Chrome installed.

Chrome's Sync Options

Chrome's Sync Options

The options page has a section where you can tweak exactly how you want to sync your data; it’s all very flexible.

Pinning Tabs

Chrome Pinned Tabs

Chrome Pinned Tabs

Chrome’s pinned tabs are another example of how Google really made sure to include cool little useful features to their browser. If you have several websites that that you want to have open constantly, say your email and facebook, you can “pin” a tab to the far left of the tabs so it’s always in the same place. Doing this is as easy as right clicking any tab and selecting “pin tab.”

Chrome Web Store

Chrome Web Store

Chrome Web Store

The Chrome Web store is possibly one of Chrome’s greatest features. Released early last year, it’s growing in both quantity and quality as developers realize the potential of the system. From it, you can install extensions and web apps with a single click. Some of these are simple bookmarks that point to well known web apps such as Google Docs or Picnik, and others are complicated HTML5 apps such as the New York Times app.

There are also a multitude of extensions that allow you to do anything from blocking ads to changing the new tab page. Chances are, if you’re looking for someway to customize Chrome to your own preference, you’ll find it in the Chrome Web Store.

Speed

Chrome is blazing fast. Double clicking on it’s icon and it launches almost instantly. Chrome is powered by Webkit, which is a speedy little rendering engine that makes sure web pages are shown quickly and correctly.

For JavaScript, the Chrome team came up with V8, and they continually come up with improvements to make sure it’s as fast as can be.

Conclusion

Chrome is my browser of choice, and here are the top reasons:

  • It’s fast. Click a link, and it loads immediately. No waiting, no lag.
  • It’s cut back. They’ve hidden or taken away anything you won’t be using so all that’s left is brilliant. Ironically enough, they took away all the chrome of the browser and just left content. And they did it beautifully.
  • It’s feature filled. Bookmark and preferences sync, tab pinning, a bookmark manager, an awesome new tab page, and the Chrome Web Store are just  some examples.
  • It just keeps getting better. The team behind the browser is hard at working to improve Chrome in every aspect, and since it auto-updates you don’t need to do a thing to benefit from these enhancements.

There are several versions of Chrome you can download: the stable version (for those who want a rock solid browser), a beta version (for those who want to try some new features and don’t mind sacrificing a little stability), and the dev version (for those who want any and all experimental features). You can download any of these at the following links:

Chrome Stable Chrome Beta Chrome Dev

Enjoy your speedy new browser, and let me know what you think of Chrome below in the comments!


Summary

Google Chrome is a stripped-down, super fast browser that makes web surfing a breeze.

10
  • Vladan V.

    The best browser for Windows by far.

    By the way, there is a new Chrome Webstore UI – the one attached in the post is the old one. ;)

  • Alex

    Generally a cliche article. I’m afraid App Storm is headed in an inappropriate direction. When I look for a Windows software review source, I’m looking for fantastic apps that I haven’t heard of, where the author spent a good amount of time discovering all features and aspects- not just generic reviews of applications I already have. I’m not really sure what market group you guys are targeting- considering anybody who has figured out how to look up app reviews has pretty much figured out things as basic as web-browsers and paint applications. I genuinely like the idea of this- but please encourage/allow your contributors to actually try and find new apps.

    • Mauricio

      Something weird happens with Windows, while is probably the OS with more software available, it feels like it’s also the OS with less innovation on third party software.

      If you want to try new software I recommend you:
      - Hitfilm: Video editing + VFX
      - Mufin player: Music player
      - SketchBook designer: Concept design & illustration software
      - Sculptris: Digital sculpting

      • Stimul8d

        I’m with you guys on this one I’m afraid. It feels like the barrel is being well and truly scraped here for good and innovative Windows apps which is simply not true. More than that, given the previous posts have mainly been about keeping Windows up and running properly rather than actually using your PC for anything. I was actually taken aback when I saw your “70 Wonderful Wallpapers for Your PC” post. Surely a wallpaper is a wallpaper,…PC or not. This post is just as lazy.

        There are tons of great Windows apps that are relatively unknown. Just hit download.cnet.com for 5 minutes and you’ll find a handful, regardless of what you’re interested in. Maybe a good approach is that for each article you do for mac/web.appstorm you try to write an equivalent for windows.appstorm because at the moment, I think you’re massively missing the mark. It’s like everyone has forgotten that Windows still has the greatest market share of any operating system.

        • Elad

          Wow you guys are such whiners! You don’t like the article? You already knew about this app? You think this post is redundant? Well boo-hoo, skip to the next one! It’s not like it was written on the expense of some other app and like it or not, half of the internet users still use that wretched IE. But even FF and other browser users can benefit from this post because Chrome really has no competition in the current browser market and people need to know this!

    • http://www.ssiddharth.com/ Siddharth

      Hey all,

      I definitely do see your perspective, and for the most part, agree as well. To be transparent, we’re just trying to warm things up while we get adjusted to the new platform and getting setting up with a good team of writers. Rest assured, you’ll definitely start seeing more and more niche apps down the line.

      Thanks for your feedback, guys. Please keep it coming. We rely on reads like you make sure we’re on the right trajectory.

    • Hemanth Soni

      Hey Alex,

      I’m a writer here too, and I try to get the niche products, ones that you seem to want. I’m trying to focus on products that people haven’t already heard about. In fact, I’m writing about one right now, called Pokki.

      I think this is more of what you’re looking for. If you find any apps and want me to review them objectively, send me an e-mail at soni [at] hemanth [dot] me. I see what you’re talking about, and I’m sure there’s a lot of people who agree with you.

      Like Siddharth said, the site is just starting up and your feedback is very important to this website. Hopefully you’ll like where the site ends up.

  • laccy

    yeah guys, but chrome needs a post
    millions of people use IE 6
    its pain in the ass to develop nice looking websites when you should look for workarounds just for ie
    windows has builtin IE, nothing else, maybe a screen to choose if they dont have pirated version and auto update activated

    actually i switched almost instantly to chrome
    i hate toolbars in most browsers, and i like the nice design

    firefox was clearly the best browser before, and nobody (almost nobody) could believe that could lose in this war, nowadays they copy chrome features and every week comes new release
    which sux without auto update+restart all and if their addons dont work

    most addons can be found in chrome also, and slowly they are much better addons, like diigo: the notepad, the highlighter and the read later addon, definitively quality addons which look better and work better in chrome

    and developing tools are pretty nice and easy to use

    in this times when everything becomes portable (vmware and portable apps website)
    its pretty easy to have a portable chrome+java in any usb device

    yes peoples are noobs, but just in some areeas, telling something obvious is not obvious for everybody

  • http://shahrez.carbonmade.com Shahrez Raifq

    I don’t know why but no browser has been able to replace Opera.
    I installed it when it was on version 9, and left Firefox for good.
    Since then, though I tried different browser or new version I never imagined leaving Opera.

  • John

    Great post. I like using any modern, up-to-date browser, be it Chrome, Firefox, IE9, or Opera. Just curious, what application did you use to annotate the picture under the heading Pinning Tabs”?

    • https://twitter.com/#!/technibit Robert Benjamin

      Sorry for the late reply – I used Jing. There’s a free version that works awesomely and can even record video. http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html

  • nike

    According to my opinion, Opera is more friendly for Sync Data, Grouping Tabs, Pin Tabs, Feed, and addons are awesome. Chrome is also best, specially for sopporting CSS, AJAX, Jquery Faster than other browsers.

    I feel comfortable with Both Opera and Chrome, But I suggest people to try opera and its Sync and other facilities.

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  • http://www.scooped.in Ayush Agrawal

    I really love google chrome. It is so fast and amazing experience. Thanks for the article got to know about pinned tabs through this!

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