Of all the softwares I miss the Browser Sync for Firefox the most, when Google withdrew the plugin late last year, I thought probably Google was worried about privacy concerns and dropped the plugin. Only after the launch of Google Chrome I realized the real reason. Maybe Google was little selfish in pulling the plug of a very popular plugin, but then thats how the industry is.
But now Google is launching the plugin again but only this time the plugin will stay much longer thanks to Google Chrome. A sneak peek was given in Google’s development blog about the launch of the Browser Sync. It is expected to be launched in a week and it will not have all the features of the firefox plugin.
The first beta of the plugin will have ability to synchronise only the bookmarks and later versions will add other features like History,Passwords etc. All these information will be stored under your Google/Gmail Account.
Finally Google is threatening Microsoft with its new initiative to launch a brand new OS or rather a totally new perspective on the term OS itself. The new Google Chrome OS will run on a new windowing system on top of Linux kernel.
And Google has taken the web browser to another level by announcing the new OS. Let me put things into perspective, when a new computer is built the manufacturer installs a OS like Windows,Linux,Solaris or Mac, then we install the softwares on top of it. But now Google wants to replace the OS with a browser thats right , a web browser something like your Google Chrome browser or Internet Explorer or Firefox. When you switch on your computer, it will run a Google Chrome Browser and everything else will run within it. But then Google chrome’s interface will more or less resemble current OS’s for the sake of familiarity.
And all your (web) applications will run within the web browser aka new Google Chrome OS. So all these applications will be written by web developers and they will run in your computer just like your current Desktop applications. Though there are many things a web application is not allowed do in present OS context, you never know where the new lines will be drawn on the Google OS.
And the advantages ? web applications can run within any browser , so even Windows users can use these apps through IE or Firefox or the Mac users through Safari. So it will encourage developers to crank their brains, after all their applications have a chance of wider adaptions compared to current set of Desktop applications.
My first impression of Google Chrome was not so good.The first time when I downloaded and started using it, felt very uncomfortable without the Google Toolbar. I got so used to using Google toolbar and my first thought was this browser is not for me at least for time being. So after a few hours I was back to Firefox and IE 7.
Few days went on and heard somewhere Chrome works better with google’s products like GMail and Youtube. So again I went back to Chrome and started using with Gmail and to my surprise, Gmail was very fast in Chrome and I decided to try it for a few more days.The other main factor which was refreshingly good was how fast the browser itself opens and in this Google Chrome seemed to beat Firefox and IE by a quite a margin. But this could be because the current version of Chrome doesnt allow support addons or extensions and does not have a separate toolbar like Firefox or IE. Maybe this might or might not change in future versions.
Now coming back to Missing toolbar issue, after a few hours with Chrome, I started using the address bar of Chrome to search, jus like the way we type site addresses. Type any word and enter and your search results are there for you. Still Im missing the suggest(and Autofill) feature which is present in google toolbar, which will bring related keywords and help you in searching.
One more notable feature is the ‘ Browsing history view ‘ when you open Chrome, It brings up to nine most visited website thumbnails, and most of the time I use these thumbnails to navigate these websites. This is definitely a very useful addition. The incognito tab option, which is basically private browsing which would allow any tracking files(cookies) to be stored in your computer or wouldnt leave any browsing history / Search history in your computer. Chrome also maintains browsing history in a calendar fashion with thumbnails and allows to search the browsing history. The browsing history can be deleted by day or completely.
Though Chrome doesnt have many new features now it has replaced Firefox in my laptop as the primary browser, I still use IE for what I used it for even before I got Google chrome. Nowadays I mostly dont use Firefox, this could be because firefox isnt faster or lighter anyomore and Chrome offers what I need. I believe Chrome will definitely eat into Firefox’s market.
Download chrome – http://www.google.com/chrome
Download Chrome Beta (New version with more features) – http://www.google.com/intl/en/landing/chrome/beta/
Google Chrome Blog – http://chrome.blogspot.com/
Google Chrome’s Features – http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/features.html
[PS: I recently downloaded IE 8 and quite impressed with it, Not like Chrome but still will come out with its review soon]