So after I did my last post about the new Google Chrome app available for the Iphone and Ipod Touch I decided that maybe I should download the Google Chrome browser for my Macbook, and what a great decision that was.
For the past five years, I’ve been a mac guy, a big supporter of Apple, not even considering any alternatives to Apples devices or their Safari browser, until yesterday. Google Chrome has surprised me in its speed, customizations, and all around usefulness compared to Safari. Don’t get me wrong, Safari is still fantastic, runs great, runs fast but something about Chrome is just better. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s different and over time I’ll convert back to Safari but for now, Google Chrome has been my default browser and it’s for some reason making internet browsing more enjoyable.
One of the nice things about the Google Chrome browser is that even if you own a mac, you can still download Chrome and best thing about that is it’s free and a very simple download, click here if you want to go to the download page for Chrome.
One of the first things I had heard about Chrome was that it allows you to “search the web faster” and I thought to myself, “that’s just a gimmick, everyone says you can search the web faster with their browser,” but after using Chrome and comparing it to Safari at my house, Chrome definitely has a little bit more zip getting you from page to page. Safari isn’t slow by any standards but I was pleasantly surprised that Chrome was actually a faster browser and not just some “gimmick.”
Besides Chrome having more zip to it then Safari, you have a cool new option of putting the browser on “full screen mode” which turns your entire screen into the browser, and when you put your mouse towards the top of the page, a drop down menu comes up which allows you to do further searching or go back a page.
Another thing that I found cool about Chrome was the “Chrome Web Store.” The store is essentially a copy of Apples app store except when you download “apps” essentially your just bookmarking web pages to get to faster. It’s a cool idea but it’s really just another “bookmarks page” but whats different is instead of reading the name of your bookmark, there is a specific “app” page and it uses icon images instead of a name for the bookmark, so you can visually see what page you want to go to instead of reading through your list of bookmarks. It also provides a variety of different types of “apps” you can “download.” Anything from weather, to sports, to games, to productivity, to social media, too much more. Best thing about this Web Store….it’s all free.
What’s also cool about the Web Store is that you can download different “themes” for your browser. Basically it’s like putting wallpaper on the background of your screen when you go to your “apps” page or “most visited” page. It’s nothing crazy or fancy but it’s a nice little touch, not to mention there is just a plethora of different themes you can choose from.
If you downloaded the free Google Chrome app, this is where things really become cool and Google separates itself from Safari. I had talked in my review of the Google Chrome App (click here if you want to read it) that you can transition seamlessly from app to computer and not miss a step, well this is where it all comes together. I downloaded the Chrome app before I downloaded the browser so I never really got a chance to see what this was all about. Well when I downloaded the browser of course this was one of the first things I wanted to check out and let me tell you, it’s pretty awesome and a fantastic idea.
When you download the Chrome browser you sign in (using your Gmail account) and surf the web and open multiple tabs and do your thing. Well when you open the Chrome app you also sign in, using the same grail account, and the app and browser sync together and you have the option of going to an open tab from your computer, on your phone, and vice versa. This is really cool because say your researching something on your computer at home but you have to run out to an appointment. Well while you’re out and waiting you can pick up your search from where you left off on your app. Same thing happens in reverse, there have been many times where I have been searching things on my phone and then want to transition to my computer and I have to copy the link or re-search my topic, but with the chrome browser and app you can easily transition back and forth between devices.
Of course with Safari, you have much better integration with your mac, allowing you to do more things with your computer in a faster, simpler way, but in terms of going browser vs. browser, I give Chrome the slight edge over Safari. Overall the Chrome browser is a really fantastic way to search the web and, in my opinion, has safari beat on a few different fronts. I plan on using Chrome until Apple decides to upgrade Safari, and when that happens, I’m sure all bets will be off. But until then, Chrome is your best browser option out there.