Google Chrome Web Browser Released – First Look

While there have been rumors in the past of a Google browser and of Google acquiring browser companies like Opera, this news is for real. Google will be launching the beta version of the browser Google Chrome tomorrow in more than 100 countries. A new browser competing with Firefox and Internet Explorer, will certainly make things difficult and exciting for all web developers.

While the launch was meant to be a secret, the news leaked out as a Chrome comic book created for the Chrome launch was accidentally shipped early. This is what the Google blog had to say about Chrome –

“All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser. We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, we shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends — all using a browser. Because we spend so much time online, we began seriously thinking about what kind of browser could exist if we started from scratch and built on the best elements out there. We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that’s what we set out to build.

On the surface, we designed a browser window that is streamlined and simple. To most people, it isn’t the browser that matters. It’s only a tool to run the important stuff — the pages, sites and applications that make up the web. Like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome is clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go.

Under the hood, we were able to build the foundation of a browser that runs today’s complex web applications much better. By keeping each tab in an isolated “sandbox”, we were able to prevent one tab from crashing another and provide improved protection from rogue sites. We improved speed and responsiveness across the board. We also built a more powerful JavaScript engine, V8, to power the next generation of web applications that aren’t even possible in today’s browsers.

This is just the beginning — Google Chrome is far from done. We’re releasing this beta for Windows to start the broader discussion and hear from you as quickly as possible. We’re hard at work building versions for Mac and Linux too, and will continue to make it even faster and more robust.”

One hopes that all popular browsers can one day support web applications in a standard and consistent form.

You can download Chrome at http://www.google.com/chrome/

—————Update & First Look—————

  1. Google Chrome is built from open source components like WebKit and V8. Google Chrome uses a brand new JavaScript engine (V8), which is much faster than existing JavaScript interpreters. This means you can create more complex and more intensive AJAX applications with fewer speed and processing constraints.
  2. As per the docs, if you’ve tested your website with Safari 3.1 then your site should already work well on Google Chrome.
  3. Comes with some good tools for testing a site –
    • Web Inspector – Right-click on any component on a web page to launch the web inspector. You’ll be able to see the elements and resources associated with the component on which you clicked, including a hierarchy view of the DOM and a JavaScript console.
    • Task Manager – Select the Page menu icon, then Developer > Task Manager (or press Shift+Esc). The task manager shows all running Google Chrome processes, and the resources that they’re using (memory, CPU, and network).
    • JavaScript Debugger – Select the Page menu icon, then Developer > Debug JavaScript. This launches a JavaScript debugger that can be used to attach to existing processes.
  4. Google Chrome users can create shortcuts for any web page by selecting Create application shortcuts from the Page menu icon. Shortcuts can be created on the desktop, start menu and quick launch bar. You can use meta tags to customize how the shortcut gets created for users of your site.
  5. By providing an OpenSearch description document (OSDD), you enable Google Chrome to include your site in the list of search engines in the browser.
  6. There are direct shortcuts to individual commands but there’s no menu and no Alt-F
  7. JavaFX seems to be working with Chrome. JavaFx.com effects are working fine and was also able to also launch jnlp files and test a few JavaFx sample applications
  8. However Java Applets don’t seem to work. On trying to view some applets, we get the message “No plugin available to view this content.”

    Overall Google Chrome Is Simpler, Cleaner and Faster than Firefox and Internet Explorer. However it isn’t radically different to be able to just clean up IE and Firefox. Once the buzz dies down, IE might just continue to be the dominant browser for some time to come.

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    The IndicThreads Content Team posts news about the latest and greatest in software development as well as content from IndicThreads' conferences and events. Track us social media @IndicThreads. Stay tuned!