The Google Chrome web browser has a lot to offer its users. With a minimalist interface and some very transparent options, it is an attractive option for browsing the Web. Using Google Chrome is very easy once you understand that it is not Microsoft Internet Explorer.
- The first thing you may notice about Google Chrome is how small it is. The download takes hardly any time on anything but the slowest dial-up account. It installs seamlessly and will even offer to import your bookmarks and favorites from other installed Web browsers.
- Once you open Chrome, you may begin to feel a little lost. You may have some trouble locating your favorites or bookmarks. Chrome does not have a button on the initial interface to bring them up. Instead, you must hit "control-B" to cause the bookmarks bar to appear. You will also notice it is a horizontal bar, not a vertical scrolling menu. This design adds to the viewing area of Chrome, but also adds keystrokes to the regular browsing session.
- Next, you may notice Chrome does not have a menu bar. Instead, there are two small buttons to the right that control options, settings and other functions. Google also decided to place certain buttons, like the "stop" button, in non-traditional places. Additionally, with a fresh Chrome install, the "home" button is not displayed by default and this setting has to be manually changed to make it appear.
- There are many benefits to Chrome though, that make learning the ropes worthwhile. The cache and cookie cleaning options are very robust, allowing you to delete anything you want in a safe interface. The "tabbed browsing" features, which all browsers have, are unique in Chrome as it will display thumbnail images of your most-visited Web sites.
- Google Chrome also has an "incognito" browsing feature. This is similar to a plug-in available for the Firefox browser. It basically allows you to browse the Web normally, but as soon as you close the window, Chrome deletes all of the cookies and session data and does not add any sites to your browsing history.
- Finally, Google Chrome is faster in some cases than Internet Explorer. The rendering is crisp and all but a handful of pages load without any issues.
Google released Chrome while it was in beta testing and was met with harsh criticism. Subsequent releases have addressed some issues, but Google still needs to tweak Chrome more. Once beyond the initial differences, using Google Chrome can be a very pleasurable experience.