Google Chrome

The Internet (and, indeed, the press in general) has been alive with talk of Google Chrome.  As always, I won’t have much to add to the masses of stuff that’s already been written, but here’s how Chrome has been for me.

Hearing about it

Heck, it was only yesterday but it seems so long ago!  I guess I originally heard about it from my desktop alerts, or on one of the Blogs I follow on Google reader.  It all started when a 38-page cartoon explaining how Chrome came about and some of the design philosophy behind it (quite techie stuff!) was “accidentally” released before its scheduled time.
I confess, I put off reading this until it was all over the internet, at which point I thought…oh, well, go on then.
I was quite impressed with the ideas they were putting forward!  And started to get excited about an imminent download!
First Impressions

I got to download quite late on Tuesday, so didn’t get to play much.  A second look on Wednesday has left me actually very impressed!
1) It’s fast.
There have been numerous benchmarks put forward but I use the global-standard, what-does-Ross-think test, and it rates as fast.  Seriously, my qualitative opinion is that it’s quicker then IE and Firefox for most of what I do.
The only real test I’ve done is where I have a page with a very large table that’s basically a dump of an entire database.  This took around 7 seconds on Firefox 3.  Chrome rendered it in less than 3 seconds!  Wow!
2) It’s neat.
Like most Google stuff, it just works!  Even version 0.2 works with pretty much everything I’ve thrown it at.  I just had some struggles with the “New” Faceboook, but that’s about it.  Flash, Javascript, Java, it all just seems to work.  Not bad for an early Beta.
There’s some really neat features that will please everyone, like the drag-and-drop tabs, the smart location bar, the quick dial.  OK, you can get some of these with Opera or with Extensions to Firefox, but they’re here and they’re nice.
There’s also stuff to appeal to techies.  A separate process viewer, ability to kill individual tabs’ processes, DOM inspector and JavaScript debugger.  All pretty neat.
3) It’s simple
The UI is typically Google – clean and clever.  I like it.
Things it doesn’t have that I like?
I immediately missed mouse gestures, that Opera invented and that are copied with Firefox extensions.
I miss my Twitter client plug in “Twitterfox” – there are other Twitter clients, but running this inside my broswer keeps everything in one place.
And I was immediately baffled as to why Google’s browser didn’t make use of my online Google bookmarks.
But that’s about it!
Privacy Issues

I noticed this myself before I spotted it circulating on the Internet.  The original EULA (User Agreement) contained a section which basically gave Google the right to use whatever you looked at or uploaded using Chrome.  It said this:
You retain copyright and any other rights that you already hold in Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content, you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free and non-exclusive licence to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services. This licence is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.”

Scary!  I stopped using it at that point and questioned my commitment to Google’s services.

Fortunately, common sense has prevailed.  When I got to downloading it at home tonight the same section of the EULA simply said:

“You retain copyright and any other rights that you already hold in Content that you submit, post or display on or through the Services.”

A quick and interesting about turn.
Reading comments from Bloggers on this did get me thinking about how much data I trust Google with.  Some think we shouldn’t be paranoid about it, they just use it for targetting adverts at you.  Others think that we’re doing a mis-service to mankind as a whole when we give Google anything.
I’m not quite sure where I stand on this.  I give a lot of data to Google because I find their services REALLY useful (and growing more so by the week!).  If someone else develops a better integrated set of apps I’ll go use that, but, to my knowledge, they haven’t.
Sainsbury’s get a lot of data from me because I like shopping there.  Is that a bad thing?
I’m actually quite precious about security, especially online, and being a techie who’s aware of the risks makes me more so, but I’m also educated enough to know how to stop bad things happening…I think.
Anyone care to correct my view of privacy?  I’m open to hearing why Google are “evil”?
This is a
n early v0.2 Beta.
Gimme the real thing soon please.  I like it a lot!