I have been playing with Google Chrome for a few days now and for the most part have enjoyed the experience. However there are areas which essentially mean that I will not use it as my default browser but and will only keep it for testing.
I won’t go through all the good points. I have to say though that I like the interface, even though it doesn’t really match the standard windows ‘chrome’. I haven’t however found it that fast in fact it seemed to open Google docs slightly slower than Firefox, although I have not timed this to be sure.
So what would stop me using Chrome? If I discount the very very dodgy EULA, I still think security is a major problem. In Safari there is a default privacy setting that ensures 3rd party cookies cannot get into the system, and this is on by default. All other browsers have similar settings, although most aren’t on by default. However Chrome doesn’t have a similar setting, and instead has a rather dubiously named ‘treat 3rd party cookies differently’ or something of that order setting. Not only is it not clear what this actually does, but it seems clear that it doesn’t block 3rd party cookies going out. This is of coarse exactly what Google subsidiary Double Click would want, but it is not good for consumers and their privacy.
My second and biggest reason not to use Chrome, is that it seems to be aimed squarely at Firefox, as there is no way that the large majority of IE users will ever switch. So why would Google take aim at Firefox? In my opinion the main reason could be the much smaller announcement of Firefox Ubiquity about a month before.
If you haven’t had a play with Ubiquity you really should. It is a bit like the launchers available on the Mac. What I mean by that is that you open up a dialogue box with a keystroke and then type a command. This allows you access to functionality in a few keystrokes. With Ubiquity you can add maps into gmail, add calendar items and much more all by typing a few keys. Note that most of the functionality here is to do with Googles apps. and this tool allows you to bypass Googles own interface in many cases. This you would think isn’t a bad thing, but it is where Google makes its money with its ads.
The reason for Chrome could therefore be a shot across the bows for companies trying to bypass Googles ads rather than a particular desire to make a better apps browser.