Google Brings Back Simplicity –
Surfing The Internet With Chrome
West Coast Bureau Chief
As a self-taught techie, who launched the media campaign for open source Linux Operating Software in August 1998, I have seen a lot of changes in technology, but none so advanced as Google. Google’s much-anticipated Web browser, Chrome, hit the Internet in beta form (testing stages) Tuesday (Sept. 2, 2008), with shiny new features, but best of all it is several times faster than Microsoft’s Internet browser (IE) and twice as fast as Mozilla’s Firefox.
The good news is your bookmarks can be easily imported with the click of a mouse.
The open-source browser first showed up on an unofficial Google blog in the form of a comic book. Google made an official announcement that appeared late Tuesday afternoon after the Internet began buzzing about the comic-book site. Chrome, the newest browser technology had so much buzz, users were waiting anxiously for the free download, but for MS Windows only.
Photo by Stephen Shankland/
Many of the options are hidden, but easily found in the menu, giving Chrome a cleaner, sleeker technology look, unlike IE or Firefox. For the PR Pros who are like me and visit so many websites daily for news articles to research on clients, it is the browser that gets you there faster than a bullet train, and remembers where you’ve been. Like the competition, you can have your membership sites like www.odwyerpr.com saved in Chrome, and you just click on the plus sign to bookmark it.
I downloaded and tested it on Labor Day, and love it, but still love Firefox for my other functions such as menu bookmarks, clearing the cache (good for getting rid of spyware and ad ware history) when I close it. Much of the technology in Firefox has been included in Chrome, so you have a very small learning curve and you can keep all three browsers. I keep MS IE6 to design websites and blogs so I can know what surfers are seeing using those applications, Chrome is the new shining star in my book, and it will be yours soon, too.
To download the Chrome beta for free, visit: www.google.com/chrome. All your book bookmarks, browsing history and passwords are imported automatically and loaded for use.
The main features of Chrome include:
- Performance – Chrome totally wipes out Internet Explorer (IE) at rendering web pages. It’s just faster.
- User Experience – You have one box for everything. Type in the address bar and get suggestions for both search and web pages. Chrome’s integrated address/search menu and tab drag & drop feature really says it all. You can rapidly combine all of your tabs from separate browser windows. In IE there is a lot of copying and pasting of URLs required. Just drag, drop, repeat and you’re done.
- New Features – Chrome has thumbnails of your top sites and you can access your favorite pages instantly with lightning speed from any new tab. \
- Shortcuts for your applications – You receive desktop shortcuts to launch your favorite web applications.
- Compatibility – Chrome makes Microsoft’s new browser almost a dinosaur for me. Chrome does a better job of re-using shared code than Internet Explorer. If you or your company has multi-tab application scenarios, Google’s clean multi-process design explodes with bonuses compared to IE 8. Almost every other Windows application I’ve experimented with was compatible and lightning fast.
- Home Page – The standard home page is all about you the PR pro. It includes links to the sites you visit most often and bookmarks. At beginning, you can return where you left off, not just on the last page you visited, but all of the pages you had up when you shut down. Wait, there’s more. You can even tell Chrome which websites you want it to open every time you start the program. This is outstanding for PR Pros who often monitor hundreds of pages.
- Web Surfing Ease -The Google search field is conveniently located in the URL address bar. So, you could type www.odwyepr.com in the space to go directly to the site or type “Jack O’Dwyer PR News” for a search.
- Pull-Down Windows -Chrome has pull-down window functions for Print and Save, making way for a cleaner browser with more content room, but if you don’t like it just right-click your mouse to do it. Like Firefox, Chrome can keep you in a incognito surfing mode, allow for privacy while surfing the Internet and any sites can be kept off the browsing history list
- Shortcuts – you can make many shortcuts on your desktop, where Chrome opens up that home page when you start up or when you return to browsing the web.
Google assembled a large cast of characters to unveil its new browser, Chrome, on Tuesday. Here’s the engineer and executive who took the stage at the company’s Mountain View, Calif., headquarters.
Sundar Pichai, vice president of product management, led off the show with Google’s grand aspirations for Chrome: “Our intent here is to drive the Web platform forward,” he said. In other words, Google wants the Internet to be a more powerful foundation for online applications.
The bottom-line is this. Speed is the key to success here. Time is money in any business, especially PR and while you test drive the Chrome browser keep track of your time, then try the other browsers you normally use, I bet you will feel cheated without Chrome. Google Chrome is a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the web faster, safer, and easier.