When I saw the comic on the new google chrome browser I was very excited. It seems to promise that I will never have to restart the whole browser if just one of the 10 open tabs crashes. No more 100% utilisation for heavyweight javascript sites?

My first experiences (I’ve only been playing with it for 10 minutes):

1) Doesn’t import my huge firefox visited sites history. If during the installation I ask it to import the history it just doesn’t proceed, without any error. The third time I tried to import my firefox settings I unticked the “import history” and it worked.

2) It seems to take longer to initially load up a page (I guess because it spawns a new process each time a new tab is opened and because of the javascript VM).  But once the page is there, it works really well. I tried it on a couple of “heavy” sites (lots of scrolling text, flash player, animated gifs). Firefox would use 100% of the cpu, but chrome seems to work just fine.

3) The feature, which shows the 9 most visited pages when you open up a new tab seems cool initially. However, it raises privacy issues. I don’t want my employer to see that amongst my most visited site is bbc and a betting website 😉  The problem is that so far I couldn’t find an option to change the behaviour of the browser when it opens up a new tab.

4) It does eat up quite a lot of memory (I have 2 instances of chrome running, with 5 tabs of “standard” sites, such as facebook and my blog based on wordpress, on each instance and the browser eats up more than 100MB of RAM). However, when I close a tab the memory it eats up seems to decrease substantially, so it probably doesn’t have any memory leaks. And I really like the “stats for nerds” feature! 🙂

5) The tabs are part of the window and there are no big buttons and statusbar. This allows for more website content to be visible at a time and reduces the need to scroll up and down all the time.

One think is for sure. I like it so far! I still need to use it more and see how it behaves, especially from a performance point of view…   It doesn’t have a spell check (yet) or any fancy plugins, but it seems to be what a browser should be… Stable and transparent! I don’t know how secure it is though… guess we’ll have to wait and see…


  • I just came across my first problem… Facebook has a “read more” link, which expands long text in facebook posts. Chrome doesn’t seem to work with it 🙂
  • Guess my point no. 2 above was not correct. Just tried it on: www.goalnews.gr and the flash player utilises 50% of the CPU, so I guess it was pure luck it had better performance on the other heavy on javascript/flash sites I tried it. In fact firefox’s CPU usuage didn’t peak over 20% on the same site!
  • It seems that it doesn’t work well with Kaspersky antivirus. When I disabled it Chrome’s performance was greatly improved.
  • Flash perfomance seems to be an issue. I have a youtube (music) video playing on another tab and the current tab becomes momentarily unresponsive from time to time.

2 thoughts on “Google Chrome: First Experiences

  1. Hey, good stuff exploring this.

    From my brief scan of the comic it seems like they are targeting the new style of browsing of using web applications. I don’t think a browser like this would be compared to something like Firefox in terms of stability, speed, memory usage, etc., but rather on its greater usability with web apps. But this, I can’t see yet cos I’m on a Mac 🙁

    Did you test it on Windows or Linux? I believe Windows Firefox 3.0 is VERY stable and also on the Mac.

    Can you explain a bit more about how it makes web apps easier/more convenient to use?

  2. Hey Mike,

    I tried it on windows xp. My impression is that it is more stable for the following reason. I tend to open up many browser windows and tabs when I search for something on the net. I had an issue with firefox, because if a tab crashed I had to close all the windows and open tabs and start my search over again. Chrome has a task manager of its own and you can kill the tab/plugin (i.e. flash, silverlight) that is unresponsive, without affecting the rest of the tabs.

    Regarding the user experience with web apps, I haven’t noticed anything special. It’s just that the user interface is minimalistic, which gives you more screen space to view a site. It’s like browsing on “full screen” all the time!


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