Summary: If you haven't checked out Google Chrome lately, this may be the time.
Well, boys and girls, it looks like I'm switching to Google Chrome.
I have been using Firefox since version 1.5, but lately Firefox' performance turned into a major hassle. It takes me from 15 seconds to over a minute to launch the browser and it's just plain silly. I tried all suggestion I could find -- reducing the number of add-ons, deleting and recreating a user profile, etc. -- but since nothing helped, I have been looking for a browser replacement.
I briefly flirted with every version of IE that came out of Microsoft. IE7, IE8... did not like any of them. I tried a couple of the Chrome betas when they just came out, and did not like them mostly due to missing features, such as lack of extension support. I installed the current version (v.4.0.x) a couple of weeks ago, and the more I use it, the more I like it.
First of all I'm blown away with performance. Compared to Firefox, everything from initial browser launch to page loads seems blazingly fast.
Chrome's user interface is very pleasing. Many minor details illustrate a lot of thought put into the GUI. For example, I like that the status bar only appears when status is changing (this leaves more useful space for the web content). It's nice that the menu options are located under a single toolbar button (again giving more space and reducing the UI clutter).
Finally, I found out that all but few of my favorite Firefox add-ons had been ported to Chrome extensions, which made my transition easier. I would not have made a switch to Google Chrome, had the following extensions not been available:
- IE Tab Multi (alternative: IE Tab)
Displays web pages using IE rendering engine hosted inside of a Chrome tab.
Password manager, form filler, and more.
- Xmarks Bookmarks Sync
Synchronizes my bookmarks across IE, Firefox, Chrome and multiple computers.
- Awesome Screenshot: Capture & Annotate
Captures the whole page or any portion, annotates it with rectangles, circles, arrows, lines and text, one-click upload to share, and much more (see also Webpage Screenshot, Picnik Extension for Chrome, and Aviary Screen Capture).
- Craigslist Preview
Displays cached images for Craigslist search results.
- goo.gl URL Shortener
Shortens URLs using goo.gl, the Google URL shortener service.
- Hover Zoom
Displays full-size image on mouse hover over a tumbnail. Works with many sites, including Facebook, Amazon, Flickr, and more.
Notifies you if a product you’re browsing for is available more cheaply from another retailer.
Checks Amazon product price history and displays price drop alerts for items in your follow list.
Displays lower prices and coupons while you're shopping.
- Search Preview
Displays thumbnails of websites in the search page results.
- Shareaholic for Google Chrome
Makes it easier to share pages with social network sites, such as Facebook.
- The Camelizer
Provides price history for products sold at popular web retailers, such as
Amazon, BestBuy, NewEgg, and Overstock.
Extends the features of the the built-in Developer Tools (available via Ctrl+Shift+I).
- Firebug Lite
A somewhat crippled version of the most popular Firefox add-on.
- Resolution Test
Changes the size of the browser window for developers to preview their websites in different screen resolutions (see also Window Resizer).
- Eye Dropper
Allows you to pick color from any webpage.
Too bad, I could not find replacement for the following Firefox add-ons: