Google Chrome: not ready for prime time

Here’s what I discovered after a day of using the current beta of Google Chrome for Mac:

  • It frequently lost the text cursor in text input fields, especially on GMail.
  • It seemed much slower and more likely to corrupt the display compared to Safari in Google Wave.
  • It had a bad habit of undocking a tab on the slightest provocation.
  • The fact that the tabs take up space in the window frame means that you’d frequently undock a tab when you were trying to move the whole window.
  • It doesn’t have a “Reload all tabs” option. Supposedly there is an extension to that, but in order to use extensions I’d have to upgrade to the latest development build. That’s more work than I’m willing to do when it has all these other problems.
  • It doesn’t recognize or tell you about RSS feeds. In Safari or Firefox, any page that has an RSS feed displays an icon, and if you click it, the OS opens the feed in the currently configured RSS reader. The functionality is so ingrained in browsers that many pages don’t seem to have any other indication that they have RSS feeds. Once again, I’m told that Chrome has a plug in for that. Once again, too much trouble.

About the only thing I liked about Chrome more than Safari is that when I restarted it, it would re-open the three pages with 15 or so tabs between them that I had open beforehand. Safari can be trained to open the one page with 10 tabs that is my main window, but then I have to manually fiddle with the other pages. Oh, and Chrome opens new links in a tab instead of a window – that’s nice that I don’t have to hold down command when I click.

The main reason I was tempted to use Chrome is that using a busy wave in Google Wave causes browsers to eat memory like crazy. In Safari, to recover that memory I have to close the whole browser. In Chrome, you can recover it by closing the tab. Nice, but I was closing the tab and re-opening it every few minutes because the “space to next unread blip” functionality would stop working. I have to restart Safari about once a week if I avoid Wave, and about once a day if I use Wave.

I find it deeply ironic that the two biggest problems I had with Chrome were with Google apps. Maybe I’ll come back to Chrome when it’s ready. But not now.

3 thoughts on “Google Chrome: not ready for prime time”

  1. Yeah, I’ve not been overly impressed with the Mac version yet – I have the same issue with moving the window. But at least it eliminates the issues I had with Firefox taking up every bit of available CPU power on my machine. And I’m a huge fan of it under Windows, so I’ll stick with it despite the bumps in hopes it will become as good as the Windows version.

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