Sometime in the past 24hrs my copy of Google Chrome updated to version 6. Along with a more native UI, it now sports a bold red skull and cross bones when you visit a site with an unverified SSL certificate. How awesome is that?!
I started using OpenDNS again for the first time since Google released Chrome.
When I ran Chrome, I noticed a curious little quirk, Chrome was ignoring OpenDNS’ shortcuts and auto typo correction. I whipped out wireshark and took at what was going on.
By default, every time you enter a character into Chrome’s toolbar it fetches results from google.com/complete/search. Since google knows about every single website, Chrome is able to decide if you’re typing a valid domain without querying DNS. That is, it’s actually redirecting you to a google search results page at the HTTP layer, before your request queries any DNS info.
While it’s not neccessarily a bad way of doing things, it is somewhat annoying.
Luckily, google actually built a great product!
This feature is totally customizable.
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.
- 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.
- 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.