Google Chrome Hands On Test Drive

I took the newly released Google Chrome web browser for a test drive today. I Had the official web page on refresh and so I had downloaded my copy as soon as it became available there. Using a newly released browser, which has also taken most of the known Internet by storm was a pretty overwhelming experience for me.

The browser’s currently released build is 1583 (first public beta) and is based on Mozilla 5, Gecko 1.9.1 and most importantly on WebKit 525.13,  meaning that it has the ability to achieve a 100/100 pixel perfect score on Acid3 Tests. It uses the V8 engine for ECMAScript compilation, which is reportedly two times faster than Firefox 3 and Safari 4.

About Google Chrome

About Google Chrome

Well this is about enough on the Basics of the browser, and I’m sure that you would like to know how it performs in the world wide web? Well I took this new baby out for a spin on some of the most popular (and most demanding) websites on the Internet today. The browser turned out to be one of the fastest ones I had ever seen (surely giving Safari 4 a run for its money) and had performed above expectations on most sites.

Facebook

Starting of with my favorite social networking site (yes I’m not a MySpace fan), I performed a couple of common tasks like updating my status and posting a note. I was expecting much especially because of my experience from Internet Explorer 8, but Chrome held out pretty well when tasked to handle all of the original Facebook code. Unfortunately there were JavaScript and AJAX related problems on some third party applications which were specifically designed for Firefox 3. I also had some trouble posting comments on just about anything. But they weren’t as bad as what had happened in IE 8.

Comments don't work for some reason

Comments don

My Heroes Ability on Facebook has some issues like in IE

My Heroes Ability on Facebook has some issues like in IE

Gmail

If anyone would be thinking that Gmail may have some issues with Chrome, then you should probably go back to kindergarten. Google had worked out all the bugs for Gmail before handing out Chrome to the public so you can rest assured that all your emails would be safe and secure.

Yeah I'm not a regular Gmail user

Yeah I'n not a regular Gmail user

Yahoo! Mail

When it comes to web-mail, most of the population is either using Yahoo! Mail (like me) or Gmail. If you happen to use any other service (comment below if you use Live Mail) then I recommend that you sign up for either one of these. Back on the subject, Yahoo! Mail had given me quite a surprise when I loaded it! There was no compatibility warning – meaning that Google and Yahoo! had already communicated regarding the new browser. Needless to say Yahoo! Mail performed great and surprisingly fast as compared to the Yahoo! endorsed Firefox 3.

Seems like Yahoo! knew Chrome was comming

Seems like Yahoo! knew Chrome was comming

Yahoo!

The Yahoo! home page took an instant to load up and there were no graphical problems with the rendering. All the features were working smoothly and the AJAX-Flash blending was perfect.

Yahoo looks perfect

Yahoo looks perfect

Wikipedia

One of the biggest surprises came from Wikipedia. I have a very demanding visual theme setup on Wikipedia along with a lot of JavaScript based plugins. It only took a second to load all of that! that was nearly half the time it takes on Firefox or Safari for that matter. There were no rendering issues with the interface, though some plugins refused to work as they didn’t reccognize the browser and chose not to load at all.

Wikipedia took half the time to load that on Firefox

Wikipedia took half the time to load that on Firefox

JavaScript plugin decently refusing to work

JavaScript plugin refusing to work decently

YouTube

I had a pretty bad experience while testing YouTube on IE 8 a few days ago. But I wasn’t expecting to run into any problems on Chrome as both are Google products. My expectations prooved correct and YouTube performed quite smoothly and a few bugs I experienced in Firefox were absent here, like it takes too much time to navigate from a video page when a video is playing. This was due to the multiprocess architecture of Chrome.

YouTube did cause the flash plugin to crash after several hours

YouTube did cause the flash plugin to crash after several hours

Flickr

Flickr was working fine and there were no speed or compatibilty issues. The newly integrated Picnik had a bit of slow start but once loaded, worked out pretty much fine.

Flickr seemed to be fully functional

Flickr seemed to be fully functional

Last.fm

The social music site Last.fm had a bit of performance issues as they are very much tailored for Firefox. Thier Flash based players worked great though.

Last.fm played Ok

Last.fm played Ok

Memory

The resource utilization of Chrome was a bit high. It used some more CPU (due to its architecture) and memory compared to Firefox or Safari, but the overall memory utilization was great with no apparent memory leaks.

Acid3

This was the biggest surprise of the day! Google Chrome actually scored 78/100 on the Acid3 test even in its infancy. This shows the power of the underlying WebKit and V8 engine. The only known browser to pass the Acid3 test is Apple Safari 4 beta, with the latest beta versions of Opera and Firefox close behind. Internet Explorer family is long way off from this standard as the current version of IE 8 only manages around 20/100.

I had a bit of trouble getting the test to run as Acid servers were overloaded

I had a bit of trouble getting the test to run as Acid servers were overloaded

Acid3 score of 78/100, which is pretty high for a new browser

Acid3 score of 78/100, which is pretty high for a new browser

Silverlight

Silverlight has some strange issues on Chrome, mostly related to UI and interaction with the mouse. I tested this on numerous silverlight sites including PopFly.

Flash

Flash content worked smoothly, although not as fast as Firefox. Chrome uses the same plugins as other browsers so there may be some issues regarding the plugin architecture in Chrome. Flash crashed after sometime (about 4 hours) while I really stressed it on YouTube, but the good thing was that it didnt affect anything else.

Caused the Flash plugin to crash after bieng stressed

Caused the Flash plugin to crash after bieng stressed

Conclusion

Even though I have tested it for only a few hours right now, I say that Chrome is a pretty strong browser at such an early stage. Its open source and its based on some of the most proven technologies (like WebKit) meaning it has all the ingredients to become one of the best browsers out there giving a lot of competetion to the elites Firefox, Opera and Safari (Sorry Internet Explorer doesn’t qualify here). If you haven’t already then download Google Chrome and give it a go yourself to see what I mean. As always, you can share you’re experiences via comments.

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17 Responses to “Google Chrome Hands On Test Drive”

  1. aaaproxy » Blog Archive » chrome plugins Says:

    […] Google Chrome Hands On Test Drive 4 hours ago […]

  2. Ian Says:

    I am being constantly blocked by the lack of Java support. Many sites use Applets for various things, from simple graphics to complex functionality. The fact that they are not rendered makes the site unusable.

  3. UzEE Says:

    The fact that I didnt do Java testing was that Java Applets wouldn’t recognize the browser yet. The same problem was with some JavaScripted RIAs which were designed to only work with Firefox, Safari, Opera or IE.

    In the coming weeks, we can expect developers to add support for Chrome as it is one of the fastest beasts I have seen.

  4. Picnik: A free yet powerful online image editor « UzEE’s Journal Says:

    […] All the screen shots are taken in the newly released Google Chrome browser. Picnik loading in Google Chrome After you log in, you are greeted with this My Facebook […]

  5. larry Says:

    If you search support for chrome, you’ll see that you need java6 update 10 to work with Chrome. Available here:

    http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/ea.jsp

  6. Alex69 Says:

    I don’t know if it’s just me but… Did the smooth scroll worked for you guys? I could only scroll down but not up sites…

  7. UzEE Says:

    @Larry

    Thanks for the heads up. It really works.

    @Alex

    Its working fine here. I mean if you mean page scrolling then I have had no trouble with it.

  8. Alex69 Says:

    I can’t scroll up pages

  9. UzEE Says:

    Its working perfectly here. Arrow keys, Scroll bars, mouse wheels, everything. There might be a problem with your system?

  10. WindowBlinds 6.3 and SkinStudio 6.3 Betas in time for GUIC 2008 « UzEE’s Journal Says:

    […] Central. The news came on September 2 on WinCustomize, when most of the world was waiting for the launch of Google Chrome. Here’s what the official press release had to say: The betas for WindowBlinds 6.3 and […]

  11. Zoli Says:

    Problems with Chrome…Well there are some. It IS the fastes and most stable thing around AND with some thinkering you can make java& Flash work BUT 1.)Java applets ONLY work if you use the new in a web page instead of . I dont think it is a bug i think it is a standardization.. applet tag is deprecated according to w3. But shockwawe dont work at all and flash sometimes behaves like running a 3d game on a very old system

  12. UzEE Says:

    Well I tried two different versions of Flash… Flash Player 9 Update 3 is more stable than Update 4.

    And I didn’t test it on Flash Player 10 yet but will do that tomorrow.

  13. Ferrit Says:

    No problems so far (other than company Intranet – ludits work on our systems) – performance does seem impressive.
    No crashes yet either!

  14. Prism reflects Web Apps to Desktop « UzEE’s Journal Says:

    […] and have there own separate memory. This feature has been presented in other browsers as well, like Google Chrome, but Prism gives more flexibility even though it is still in the […]

  15. StickyChrome Says:

    I have noticed that developer updates are resolving some of the issues you have pointed out. Try using the dev updates tool from chrome and you may have better luck on some of these sites.

  16. Google Chrome Gets its First Major Update Says:

    […] the main problems addressed and fixed with this update are related to the Flash plugin. I had reported earlier about the issue on my previous review, and it seems like the developers listened to it. More […]

  17. Voooz.com » Google Chrome Gets its first major Update Says:

    […] the main problems addressed and fixed with this update are related to the Flash plugin. I had reported earlier about the issue on my previous review, and it seems like the developers listened to it. More […]


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