When I lost my 8 GB flash drive a couple of weeks ago, my digital life was over. With no working computer at home, my browser, games, homework, college essays, music, videos, and some projects I was working on were gone--nor could I do anything about it either. I had deleted my old backup data on my 2 GB so I could keep a copy of the original StarCraft on it after my laptop broke a while back. I was on the last mission of the Zerg in the expansion, when I realized my laptop wouldn't make it--I still got to finish that up some time.
So I turned to my 256 MB flash drive. I couldn't fit anything but the bare minimum on that 7 year old artifact, and was very selective among the apps I chose to put on it.
I had tried Google Chrome in the past, but I never really caught on to it, mainly because I had customized the sh*t out of Firefox, and it had all my passwords and history and addons all that jazz, that to switch to a new browser would take more time than what it was worth.
But I had nothing too lose, so tried it, and it was good.
The most significant thing I noticed was the improvement in speed. The browser runs smooth, the look is modern, and the browser feels crisp. Not once has Chrome frozen on me, nor lagged, and, quite frankly I was starting to get annoyed by the random lags Firefox gave me, especially on slower computers.
I read an article in Maximum PC that discussed the advantages of Chrome over Firefox and IE:
Then again, there have been the disputes over the fact that Google Chrome sends info about your browsing history by default over to it's servers in order to "improve browsing experience." I personally don't have a problem with that, but for those who do, changing that is as simple as unticking the first two boxes in "Under the Hood" in Chrome's options.
As most of ya'll know, there are some alternatives to Google Chrome: Chromium (Portable), the browser upon which Google is built upon, and SRWare Iron (Portable). The former is not really recommended for anyone, mainly do to the fact that there isn't any real stable version for everyday use. Iron, on the other hand is pretty close to Chrome, with a few exceptions: Iron does not bundle Flash Player (which may be good for those with privacy concerns), Iron includes adblocking built in (there is an extension for Chrome), Iron does not include a PDF reader like Chrome, but it never sends browsing history or usage statistics to Google.
Chrome provides the alternative to Internet Explorer-dependent users. It's simple interface allows users to feel like they're working in a safer environment, and it's behind-the-scene updates on a locally installed version of Chrome definitely beats out Internet Explorer's "restart required" updates, or the lack thereof in Firefox, or lesser-known browsers such as Iron, Opera, Maxthon, Seamonkey and others.
If there is one fault to find, it's that Google has a bad idea of a Web Store. Many of the "apps" in there are simply links to websites with apps that look nothing like the "screenshots" or shortcuts you see on the homepage. Some of the extensions also seem a bit sketchy to me, particularly the Internet Download Accelerator, which, according to some reviews, only requests access to "All Data" and doesn't do anything to accelerate downloads.
All in all, though, I'm feeling the Chrome. It fast and secure and provides many ideas that other browser developers can learn from. I'm not going to say this is the best browser, per se, but out of the one's I've tried, I can say for certain that Chrome is certainly going to be my browser of choice until the next big thing comes.