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Why Mac Google Chrome is Better

Dec 09, 2009 57 Comments

I’m so excited to hear that Google finally released a beta version of Chrome for Mac. I’ve been using it for a day now and I like it so far. In fact, I have replaced my default browser setting with Chrome. Here are the reasons why I prefer Chrome over Firefox and Safari.

mac google chrome
Google Chrome for Mac – Less is More

Faster Speed

The speed is impressive in Chrome. In comparison with Firefox and Safari, Chrome is faster with the start-up launch and loading web pages. For these reasons, I am switching to Chrome.

Less Interface = More Viewing Area

The interface design of Google Chrome is using the “less is more” approach. Google Chrome dropped the title, status, and search bar to give you more viewing area. This is particularly useful for users who have low-resolution displays. The status bar only fades in when you hover over the links. The address bar is also your search bar (just type and hit enter to search).

It Has Everything

One of the main reasons why I’m using Firefox is the Firebug and Web Developer add-ons. Chrome has built-in Developer Tools (View > Developer > Developer Tools), which is comparable to Firebug.

It also has a start-page that is very similar to Safari. The start-page shows thumbnails of your recent visited pages which. You can pin, remove or shift the thumbnails around. This feature can definitely improve your browsing productivity.

User Experience

The overall user experience is great. It has nice transition effects for every action you make such as opening/closing a new tab or hovering over the start-page items.

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57 Comments… +add yours?

  1. Dec 09, 2009 @ 22:33:15

    dreamz

    One day test, a little short, you’re an enthousiast switcher !

  2. Dec 09, 2009 @ 22:45:26

    rafael

    I need a mac to try it :(

    I’m using firefox @ PC :/

    • Dec 10, 2009 @ 01:09:22

      nelson

      It has been out for PC for a looong time. The Mac version was just released.

    • Feb 10, 2010 @ 10:14:02

      Reid

      Right it has, but this article is about MAC Google Chrome. So I am sure Rafael here was talking about the MAC version.

  3. Dec 09, 2009 @ 22:50:01

    Wil

    How does the new beta compare to the alpha version which was available for Mac for while now? I do like Chrome (use it on a couple of Win machines as my standard browser), but the alpha Mac version had a couple of hiccups which were annoying. It made me switch back to Safari again.
    Hope this version is better.

    • Dec 13, 2009 @ 03:22:09

      Dave

      Wil-
      The new Google Chrome has a lot of the kinks worked out since Alpha testing. That version would use up a lot more ram than this one. Also, there is now many themes that take seconds to download and apply (depending on your internet connection). The only thing this version lacks is the “Zoom” function achieved when you part your fingers to make pages easier to read. Also, you can’t click the Chrome icon on your dock to make all your google chrome pages come up, you have to click the page itself that is usually to the right on the dock. Other than that, it is great, and look forward to the release of the official version after every bug is worked out!

  4. Dec 09, 2009 @ 22:51:17

    Mike

    I’m going to give it a try. The developer tools will definitely be the deciding factor. I’ve been a die-hard Firefox user at work and at home, but for some reason at home it keeps crashing. I’ve been trying out Safari, which has been fine except their development tools are sub par to FireBug.

  5. Dec 09, 2009 @ 22:52:07

    Brant

    This is one case where being a Mac user actually leaves you slightly behind in the latest technology. Windows users have known and experienced the benefits of chrome for about a year.

    However, I disagree with the fact that Chrome has everything. There are powerful extensions that it lacks. Adblockplus, roboform, delicious, etc. It’s also a lot tougher to find extensions.

    Perhaps in another year, Chrome can replace firefox. But for now, its the browser you use for javascript heavy apps.

  6. Dec 09, 2009 @ 22:53:45

    Akmal Wardak

    I have also been using the beta version since yesterday, and my experience has been pretty pleasant so far.
    If only Google allowed extensions. I can’t wait for its release.

  7. Dec 09, 2009 @ 22:59:53

    Anirniq

    Hi. I am also excited by this release, but i think your enthousiasm drives you to too fast comparisons.
    The faster speed: untrue: http://mobile.computerworld.com/device/article.php?CALL_URL=http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9142004/Safari_edges_Chrome_in_Mac_speed_trials
    More viewing area: true and really a great ergonomic innovation. But i don’t agree with the ‘low resolution’ thing. Mac screens have a minimum native resolution of 1280*800 (MacBook 13″).

    More, Safari has the same developer tools (to activate via the console or downloading the “Secrets” settings extensions. And it has the thumbnails too.
    The major advantage of Chrome to me is the Task Manager proper to every tab. Really usefull when you got a for loop wrong!

    I downloaded Chrome and use it to test my websites but i Still use Safari which more can read the RSS in the favorites bar.

    But still, thank you for sharing your enthousiasm, and chrome diserves a good welcome, being in the same ergonomic axis than Apple, bringing the more displaying the less.

    Bye!

  8. Dec 09, 2009 @ 23:02:06

    rado

    – safari also has a built-in inspector, a great one too
    – it is considerably faster in rendering
    – its interface is tighter and cleaner
    – it also had the cool tabs for a while, unfortunately they decided to go conservative

    anyway it’s good to have competition

  9. Dec 09, 2009 @ 23:56:15

    Franck Barfety

    Been using Chrome since it came out on PC and recently switched to Mac so frankly I’m glad to see it available. It’s simple and fast. The search feature in the address bar is genius and really a must anymore – that’s the main reason I prefer it. The bookmarks.google.com could be better integrated in the toolbar from the start instead of having to add it manually. For a while I preferred FF’s inspect element feature better but Chrome developer tools now have everything I need and more.

  10. Dec 10, 2009 @ 01:16:49

    Juan Medín Piñeiro

    The scrolling is smoother in Safari. Way smoother… I think that’s something that GC must fix in the Mac version since it really increases the user experience.

  11. Dec 10, 2009 @ 02:08:39

    Delacour

    Why using a new browser has to abandon an old one? It’s not like you can only install one browser in computer… Chrome is certainly better for general browsing through the web, but Firefox do have its strength in development for now. I’m using them both for different purposes.

    Extensions already out for PC, they work great (no restart required!), hope to see them on MAC soon.

  12. Dec 10, 2009 @ 04:09:37

    Henry

    Just made the change two days ago and I’m excited to see more extensions that will become helpful for developers. So far firebug lite is available but it’s a bit buggy. Can’t complain so far, and I don’t think I’m going back to FF.

  13. Dec 10, 2009 @ 06:37:13

    Waheed Akhtar

    very informative. soon everybody gonna say bye to firefox :)

  14. Dec 10, 2009 @ 07:18:34

    Simone

    Yeah, I try Chrome and it’s quite good. But for me Firefox is better for web development. more tools, more add-ons…

  15. Dec 10, 2009 @ 10:10:07

    Neil

    Faster – on startup and for pages. But try running it on a Netbook style setup and as soon as you hit a couple of tabs of something more than basic HTML it churns. The speed needs memory, and processor power – fine for Macs then!
    Realestate on the screen is great, but they turn off a little too much. Even the clear browser history has been removed from the menus now… am i the only one that uses this regularly!

  16. Dec 10, 2009 @ 10:43:10

    ocube

    Really need to dive in… too busy building my site… Maybe after Christmas. Personally am not too impressed with Firefox thinks its getting slower with every new release. Hope Chrome lives up to the Google tradition of simple and effective apps.

  17. Dec 10, 2009 @ 13:19:04

    Karen

    About to give Chrome a try, came across this article re: extensions… http://snipurl.com/tmwey [www_washingtonpost_com]

    Cheers!

  18. Dec 10, 2009 @ 15:00:15

    lanxiaoxi

    It has everyting, clear interface, fast speed but no add-ons. That is why I don’t set it as my default browser when I using it on PC. But when I open my firefox, I found it very slow with too many add-ons. Nothing is perfect?
    Finally I made a concession to the firefox, I can stand the speed, but cannot stand no addons to use.

  19. Dec 10, 2009 @ 16:11:53

    Adrian

    On a pc so I have been used Chrome for a while now and I love it!

  20. Dec 10, 2009 @ 16:14:21

    Michael Woodruff

    Was thinking of making the change, but the development/inspections tools are terrible compared to Firebug. For that reason I need to stay with Firefox.

    Not sure why, but Webkits’ developer tools are clunky and buggy. They get in the way too much. Almost like it was designed based on iTunes UI.

    Now if I could use Firebug (no Lite) in Chrome …

  21. Dec 10, 2009 @ 17:17:42

    Jannis Gerlinger

    yes, the speed of chrome is very impressive!

  22. Dec 10, 2009 @ 18:11:24

    Victor

    The main reason I’ve switched to Chrome is its native app feel. Completely integrated with Mac OS. Shortcuts can be easily guessed and so on. And Safari tends to lack basic features – don’t ask my why – like “reopen last closed tab” and middle click to close tabs. It’s the best of Firefox and Safari altogether. Just waiting for a webdeveloper-like plugin.

  23. Dec 10, 2009 @ 18:44:31

    Sarah

    About Mag Google Chrome, I love it too! Just downloaded it yesterday. It’s visually so pleasing!

    Btw, Nick – I have a question for you. When designing websites for clients, how many revisions do you limit the design to?

    Thanks!

    • Dec 12, 2009 @ 01:30:40

      Greg

      I can’t speak for nick. I don’t set a limit upfront but when they start coming back over and over again to change something like “we want this image 1px smaller” or “I don’t like the font can we change it to arial? … reply it is arial. oh? well can we make it ‘times’ then? I like ‘times’ … ok refresh now. yeah no I I think I want to have comic sans.” /palmface

      At this point I talk about why they hired me and we decided not to use comic-sans.

  24. Dec 10, 2009 @ 23:28:50

    Micah

    Gruber linked to another article about the UI close icon placement on tabs. Funny that majority of major browsers have close tab on right side but Safari and Camino are the mainstream exceptions.

    http://www.theinvisibl.com/news/2009/12/08/a-piece-with-a-lot-of-screenshots-about-the-close-tab-behaviour-in-google-chrome/

  25. Dec 11, 2009 @ 00:37:30

    david boo

    it’s a nice template
    you can open my Website “themeses.com” download more Mobile Phone wallpapers

  26. Dec 11, 2009 @ 12:09:18

    Cristina Sturm

    Idk… i use PC and form me, Safari end Chrome are almost the same thing… Cute, clean but useless. I would die if i couldn’t use my firebug, firephp, fireetc extensions when developing… Firefox is the best browser for developing matters for me.

    Plus, when i’m not codding, just browsing… i prefer Opera all the way. But is understandable that most of the designers prefer Safari and now… Chrome.

  27. Dec 11, 2009 @ 12:43:56

    aledesign.it

    I use google chrome with my pc and for me is better. You are right! Chrome is the best now..for me!!!

  28. Dec 11, 2009 @ 15:12:00

    warpdesign.fr

    It also lacks mouse gestures. There’s no way I can use a browser without gestures now that I’m used to it.

  29. Dec 11, 2009 @ 17:30:55

    Mike

    I install the nightly build it is a lot better than the beta version.

  30. Dec 11, 2009 @ 20:42:42

    Dave Vogler

    I’m digging Chrome as well, both for Mac and PC. I’m impatiently waiting for the Mac version to support extensions right now.
    I doubt i will ever stop using firefox on the mac, since it has so many web dev plugins.
    But that may change in the future..

  31. Dec 12, 2009 @ 02:22:31

    RicNunez

    Chrome still need to grow more. it hangs too much when using java or flash apps and get slow too switch tabs when you have too many tabs opens.
    Firefox is not only firebug, it has way too much extensions that I cannot leave behind. Btw I use chrome, but not as my main browser, I don’t like safari either. Firefox FTW!

  32. Dec 12, 2009 @ 07:40:29

    Stephen Gentle

    I don’t get why everybody gets so excited about Chrome’s address bar being a search bar too – because Firefox’s has always been able to do the same thing, and is even more powerful. You can set a default search provider to use (It’s Google’s I’m feeling lucky search by default, so you can just type the name of pretty much any site and it’ll go straight there. Or you could change it so typing something searches any search engine you wanted). Then there’s search keywords – typing ‘wiki Internet’ would go directly to the wikipedia page for the Internet, for example. You can set any of these by right clicking any search box on the internet and clicking ‘Add Search Keyword’. For example, I added one for Youtube’s search box so if I type ‘youtube cats’ it brings up the Youtube search page for ‘cats’.

    • Dec 14, 2009 @ 20:15:58

      cousin333

      “I don’t get why everybody gets so excited about Chrome’s address bar being a search bar too”

      i think the main reason, that they were the first to make this step by default. OK, Firefox knows it, Opera knows it (I’m using it like that for some years now), but it’s not default.

      By the way, why are you using such a long keywords? ‘w’ is perfect for Wikipedia, and ‘yt’ is more than enough for Youtube. I have some fifty searches like this, although I don’t use all of them. :)

      Chrome is good (I’m using it on PC), clean and fast, with some nice features (like single process for each tab), but that’s all. Extensions? Oh, not AGAIN!

  33. Dec 12, 2009 @ 11:57:16

    albyantoniazzi

    Really good review, I’m going to try it now :D

  34. Dec 13, 2009 @ 16:13:26

    rje

    With all due respect, what do you mean “it has everything”? It does not have a Bookmark Manager. It will not import bookmark folders. It does not have an autofill key, or any well thought out autofill capability. It does not have a customizable toolbar. If this is your default browser, you’ve operated on other browsers without caring much about what’s missing. If you function on other browsers without this stuff, you can’t be a power user. For me, it’s unusable. And by the way, Safari 4 is much faster, and more responsive.

  35. Dec 13, 2009 @ 16:21:22

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    2010年购物排行榜,要购物,先排行

  36. Dec 14, 2009 @ 20:10:38

    nomad

    Opera for Mac is far better than Chrome, why on earth would anyone get excited over Mac Chrome lol Safari is still the best browser on Mac period, however, Opera Mac is also very good much better then Firefox or Chrome.

  37. Dec 15, 2009 @ 02:36:13

    Josh

    yep. really digging it. Can’t wait for the day that ie has less then 10% of the users.

  38. Dec 19, 2009 @ 02:25:24

    Mary Lee

    Sorry, but I love Flock way too much to switch. It is much faster than Safari and Firefox. You can use Firefox add ons in it. It is built from the ground up with social networking in mind. The home page is called My World where you add all of your social networks, search terms for twitter and much more. I stay completely in touch with this browser, I do my ecommerce marketing from it, blog from it, read my rss feeds and tons more. I tried Chrome, but it just can’t touch the Flock browser.

  39. Dec 19, 2009 @ 23:43:44

    dbxgraphics

    Google Chrome runs smooth and looks great.
    Full screen is a beauty, since it actually is FULLSCREEN so no white border on top of the screen as is the case with FF.

    However it’s a shame there’s no option to turn off css styles/images.
    The element inspecter is limited.

    Then again Safari’s lack of a full screen mode or as Mac users like to call it Kiosk mode made Chrome the default browser for me nevertheless ;-)

  40. Dec 20, 2009 @ 00:17:35

    dbxgraphics

    There’s one thing I forgot to mention concerning Chrome which is kinda remarkable. It loads every site fast without any problems however when I visit http://24ways.org/ it becomes as slow as a snail. Hard to scroll thru the articles. Maybe it has a hard time with the css3 transparency.

    I don’t have above mentioned problem with FF & Safari.

    Anyone else noticed it?

    • Jan 09, 2010 @ 02:12:57

      Simone

      Yeah, I have the same problem. On CSS3 websites, Chrome scrolls pages slowly… like molasses. I think Chrome has issues with CSS3 but I haven’t been able to track down any info about it in support via google searches on the problem. Anyone else know what this is about?

  41. Dec 20, 2009 @ 15:06:43

    Jack

    that’ right. I used IE before and now switch to Chrome on PC as well. but sometimes some elements or links are not perfect in Chrome while it’s working in IE.

  42. Jan 10, 2010 @ 03:37:18

    GoogleReklam

    worldgoogleGoogle Reklam<

  43. Jan 15, 2010 @ 17:56:50

    Jim

    Until the dev box compares to Firebug… I’m sticking with that old horse.

  44. Jan 15, 2010 @ 21:34:49

    Flavio

    i tried it on Windows when it came out, and switched to that immediately. The speed gain was palpable, it was stable and had the nice feature of being able “to transform webservices in standalone apps” (not really but yeah, was cool having a GMail icon on the desktop).

    But i was already a mac user… when it finally came out, i’m using it all along.
    My great complain is it’s lacking a session saver comparable to FF or Safari; luckily it has the “recently closed” so it works at the end of the day, but it’s primitive (not that FF or Safari’s system is That better…).
    Another great downside is Flash: often crashes and in Google proprietary apps (Gmail!) makes a great deal in ruining the experience: when i upload an attachment in Gmail, Chrome gets unresponsive, like if the app was in background and you have to close the app to regain control. That sucks.
    The thumbnail view is much more usable than Safari’s… mainly because Safari does what he wants while on Chrome what i pin actually stays pinned. But it still need improvements (eg i haven’t seen any command to add more thumbs but mainly to be able to write down an address and assign it to a thumb, and not always something you visited shows up, it’s impractical –read impossible– to browse the history and assign a page to a thumb).

  45. Feb 07, 2010 @ 08:21:45

    Rob Cubbon

    By the way, been using your site for years, Nick, don’t know if I’ve ever thanked you. Anyway, yes I’m using it on my iMac because it’s faster. Can’t wait for all the addons to become available though. Like the Google toolbar with PageRank, autofill and translations? Firebug? Etc.

  46. Feb 17, 2010 @ 08:57:11

    Weddings Fashion

    Google Chrome dropped the title, status, and search bar to give you more viewing area. This is particularly useful for users who have low-resolution displays.

  47. Feb 25, 2010 @ 11:22:41

    brown leather jacket

    The new Google Chrome has a lot of the kinks worked out since Alpha testing.

  48. May 10, 2010 @ 01:41:30

    katie

    I’ve been using firefox for a long time on my PC, but it has been crashing so often recently that I’m really pissed off :/ I’ve also installed google chrome on my PC before, but it crashed way too frequently within a week, so I uninstalled it.

    I’m getting a macbook pro soon, so my question is, does google chrome crash often on macs?

    thanks (;

  49. Jul 23, 2010 @ 19:14:14

    lumi

    i want to try it.. thanks for sharing this information…

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