The Sweet Spot
On software, engineering leadership, and anything shiny.

I Like Google Chrome

I have to admit, I am an unabashed fan of Google Chrome, the new Web browser on the block. Why? UI design that shows attention to detail and a really cool backend architecture that gets a lot of respect from me for tossing convention and rethinking things from the ground up, the way they should have been done.Google ChromeThings I like:

  • There is so little clutter. There’s space for your Web pages and apps to breathe. The search bar and status bar and download pane only slide into view when needed, then they get out of your way so you can keep surfing. I love it.
  • The tabs blend right into the title bar and look really, really slick with Windows Vista Aero glass. (Okay, IE7+ gets points for this too).
  • You can pop tabs out from a window with a cool mini-screenshot.
  • Multiprocessed browsing and using the Vista security model: great ideas.
  • V8 Javascript JIT compiling is probably ridiculously complex but reports come in that say it gives us big performance wins.
  • Webkit engine = awesomeness (and I didn’t even have to work at Apple to say that). Hopefully this will speed CSS3 adoption (and don’t even get me started on Webkit’s CSS rounded corners and gradients!).
  • Great use of (color) contrast: the hostame of the site is given a darker color in the location bar. Everything else is grey. It’s all in the details.
  • The Omnibar (location bar) just knows what I want to visit. Credit to Firefox’s Awesome Bar for introducing us to the concept, but Chrome seems more accurate.
  • The downloads bar doesn’t open up a new window, but slides up a little bar that lets you glance at what just got downloaded. Awesome.

Needs to improve:

  • Gmail keyboard shortcuts seem to lose focus once I hit the “Enter” key.
  • I know everybody’s working hard over there, but extensions, please!

So there’s a nagging little voice that warns me that Google’s seriously going to take over the Interwebs with this killer platform. The other voice in me says to give credit to solid engineering and great design where it’s due. This is going to be a game changer, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for the future.