Google Review

Google Chrome: I’m In L-O-V-E

I’m sure these sentiments will be echoed around the around the blogosphere (including 4 posts on GigaOm…seriously) over the next couple of days, but I just can’t contain myself. I think I now know what it feels like to be an Apple fanboy when Steve Jobs announces one more thing. I haven’t been this excited about a browser since NCSA Mosaic


  • It’s fast! Really fast! I haven’t bother running any benchmarks, it’s not necessary. This browser is quite obviously insanely faster than any other browser I’ve ever tried. Pages load instantly. Any and all javascript elements load and react noticably faster. 
  • The striped down UI is a nice change from the odd UI choices in IE 7&8 and what now seems like an extremely bloated FF 3. The tab animations are nice and smooth. The ability to detach tabs is a great addition. 
  • Site search. Chrome remembers when you used the search inside a site and then allows you to use the search from the “omni bar.” So, if I type “wik+tab” it will bring up a “Search Wikipedia search:” labe, then any keywords I type get routed to wikipedia’s search engine. This works with amazon, ebay, blogs, anywhere Chrome can recognize a site search field. 
  • Developer tools! Chrome includes tools similar to Firefox’s firebug plugin, including an HTML/CSS element inspector, javascript debugger and a native, colour-coded, line-numbered HTML viewer. 
  • The default start page is innovative. In addition to showing my 9 most visited sites, it also shows my top site searches, recent bookmarks and recently closed tabs. In theory, this is super useful, but it’s one of those features that takes some getting use to. It would be kind of neat to pull RSS feeds or other widgets into this. 
  • Ability to resize textboxes. It’s minor, but useful. 



  • Doesn’t resize properly on my second monitor.
  • Opening and closing tabs is sometime sluggish – especially when there is a large flash element on the page being opened or closed. When this happens it actually causes the entire browser to be unusable. 
  • Flash sometimes loads noticably slower than the rest of the page – even on youtube. This could be due to my older cpu. 
  • Browser become slow when I’ve got 10+ tabs open. Again, could be due to my machine. 
  • The task manager is a GREAT idea. I haven’t had to use it yet. But, if a tab or a pluggin is ever so slow that it’s affecting my ability to browse, my machine is probably going to be too bogged down to actually use Chrome’s task manager. So it might actually be useless. Now, each tab does still appear as a seperate windows task, so I should still be able to close them that way. We’ll see. 
  • Missing extensions. It’d be nice if Chrome included an implementation of XUL and directly import Firefox exentions. 

Bits & Bobs

  • ctrl+k brings you directly to a search in the OmniBar – using your default search engine. 
  • Matt Cutts has a blog post addressing some privacy concerns: Link
  • It’s interesting that every major browser except Firefox now has a private browsing mode.
  • The options menu is divided in a really clever way, 3 tabs: basic, minor tweaks, under the hood
  • There’s a “stats for nerds” button

Suffice it to say. Chrome is my primary browser. I’ll still use Firefox when I need the web dev toolbar or some other extension. Mozilla and Microsoft have some serious catching up to do.


Google Is Fast!

This photo I posted on flickr was in Google’s index an hour after I uploaded it. Currently the 7th result for Ontario Milk in a Bag.

Culture Google Random

Google Street View Is Fun

For some reason Google’s maps of Japan show the locations of 7 Eleven stores.

Google Tips & How To's

How To Delete All Contacts From Gmail

Update October 2010: These instructions are no longer valid. Take a look at voyageurs60’s comment.

If you’ve ever tried to delete more than 20 contacts in gmail, you might have noticed an error message informing you that you’re only allowed to delete 20 contacts at a time.

I don’t really think of Google as a company that puts abitrary limits on features. Who knows why they decided upon this limit.

Suppose you’ve accidentally quadrupled your contacts list in some sort of import mishap and you just want to start over. There’s a fairly simple – if somewhat non-intuitive – workaround for this. Click the “older version” link it the top navigation bar ( This will allow you access to the old contacts list interface.
From there:
1) click “all contacts” tab
2) scroll down to the bottom, select “all” (no idea why this option is not at the top of the interface)
3) Delete!

Apps Google

Google’s Grand Central Offline

I don’t use the service – last I checked they did not have any Canadian area codes available. As techcrunch reports, google’s phone service has been down for the morning. It’s worth noting that this is the first time a major google service has gone down for any length of time.

I hope this does not represent a new trend for google. If you want to be a phone service you can’t go down, but more importantly to developers like me, if you want to be an app engine you certainly can’t go down.