Having used Google Chrome for nearly an hour, it’s time to document my first impressions.
- It installs fast! Chrome downloaded and installed so fast that I thought I’d just executed an installer that would download and install the real app.
- It’s smart. Chrome figured out my proxy settings and used them before I realized I hadn’t told it what to do.
- It’s bare. There’s not much visible around the window. There’s not a typical status bar at the bottom of the window, just a little bar that pops up when needed. There’s no title bar at the top of the window. There’s no menu row. No button bar. Just tabs, the “omni bar,” and five icons for forward, back, reload, favorite, page options, and tools.
- It doesn’t have a bookmarks sidebar. This is a major loss for me. I have Firefox set up with all my bookmarks arranged so I can open multiple sites at once, depending on what I want to do. For example, I can open my blog’s admin screen, Twitter, FriendFeed, Gmail, and Google Reader with one click of my center mouse button. I can open 19 news sites (okay, they’re webcomics) with another click. Chrome’s bookmark ribbon below the omni bar doesn’t seem to provide the same easy functionality. The new tab page is great, but showing only my top nine visited sites won’t cut it. I hope I’m just missing something here.
- There are no plugins available, yet. I expected this to be a big one for me. I use Firebug a lot and had hoped it would be available soon for Chrome. Chrome has an inspect element feature (right-click and select “inspect element”) that provides much of the functionality I want. I’m also waiting for myVidoop’s plugin.
- It’s not perfect. I’m not sure what I did to cause the following dialog box, but it happened shortly after I deleted all my bookmarks and reimported them from Firefox. I don’t know if it’s related, but when I restarted Chrome, the bookmarks were still there.
- So far, I like it!
I’m looking forward to hearing what other people think about Chrome.
Update. The bookmarks ribbon is not as bad as I originally thought. I was able to drag folders from my imported Firefox bookmarks into the ribbon, right-click on the folder, and select “open all bookmarks.” Not quite as easy as middle-clicking, but very close.