This week I made the switch from Firefox to Google Chrome. The latest stable release of Chrome supports “extensions” so all those pesky annoyances that kept me away from Chrome in the past can be fixed. My only complaint with Firefox is that I have to restart it a couple of times a day because the memory usage goes through the roof.
After a week of usage, I find that Chrome memory usage continually grows just like Firefox. Chrome seems to open web pages more quickly, but I haven’t actually measured (and I wouldn’t know how). I found one website where the navigation didn’t work with Chrome. I’m not sure what they’re using that’s causing the problem. And I can’t send you there unless you happen to have an HSA account at Mellon Bank.
The two extensions that sealed the deal for me are Type Ahead Find and Reader Background View. Type Ahead Find mostly works like Firefox’s “Search for text when I start typing” feature under Tools – Options – Advanced – General. Without this feature, I would have to quite using the Internet or write my own browser.
One nice thing (for me) about Firefox is about:config where I can fiddle with a lot of settings. For instance, I want links that create diverted tabs to open the background. Chrome doesn’t do that. The only place it really bothers me is in Google Reader. When I’m on a post and press V, I want that diverted tab to open in the background so I can read it later. The Reader Background View extension provides a Shift+V option that does that. It takes some getting used to, but I almost remember to use Shift+V every time now. Almost.
There are a few other annoyances. When I download something, a download bar appears across the bottom of the browser and the only way to dismiss it is to click a button. It should go away automatically after a time or at least give me a keyboard shortcut to dismiss it. The only Delicious extension I could find that had a keyboard shortcut uses Alt+D. I’ve been using Alt+D to go to the address bar since the Second World War II. I’m training myself to use Control+L, but after five days I’m only remembering it about 5% of the time. Yep, 1 time in 20 is not good.
I’m going to give Chrome another week to grow on me, then switch back to Firefox if I’m not sold. I think Chrome will be a fine browser for the vast majority of people. But I’m definitely one of those people who likes to tweak the seemingly mundane settings and Firefox provides that. Is anyone else using Chrome?