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5 reasons why I can't use Google Chrome as my primary browser

As fast as Chrome is, there are several things about it that royally tick me off. Here are 5 of them.

1. No RSS-style bookmarks.

Live Bookmarks is something I use a lot in Firefox. Chrome has no native RSS support in it at all, and the extensions available for it that emulation Firefox's way of doing it suck. They either only partially work or not at all.

2. No ability to customize the address bar area. At all.

I can't add/remove buttons, move buttons or resize the address bar, and extensions add in icons whether I want them there or not.

3. Bookmark management, Web 1.0 style.

When editing a bookmark in Chrome, you get this:

image

This is the same way IE handles Favorites, and that's not a compliment.

When editing a bookmark in Firefox, you get this:

image

Firefox gives you 7 different ways to find a bookmark. Name, location (address), tag(s), keyword, description, sidebar and menu.

What confuses me is that Chrome really, really wants you to use the address bar to locate everything given the fact it doesn't have a separate search box - yet its way of searching bookmarks is very watered down. It's like Chrome doesn't want you to bookmark anything.

4. No configuration options outside of the built-in menus.

Firefox has about:config and Opera has opera:config. Both are awesome because you can control so much stuff.

Chrome forces you to stay within its menus for what you can modify to your liking.

Y'know, it comes as no surprise to me why Mactards love Chrome so much. It's because they totally love forced environments. OS X is a forced environment (i.e. DO IT THE APPLE WAY OR NO WAY) as is Chrome.

Oh, and by the way, loading about:crash in Chrome reveals this:

image

Hmm.. where have I seen an icon like that before..

Oh, wait, I remember. The "Sad Mac" icon.

Sad_mac

This pretty much confirms there are Mactards on the Google Chrome team.. yet the browser was released for Windows first.

Google is screwed up like that.

5. The extensions for it mostly suck.

There are only a smattering of good extensions for Chrome at present, but the rest are just terrible. Part of the reason for this is that Chrome updates their own browser too fast and the devs simply can't keep up with it. As such, extensions break often from release to release - much more so than in Firefox.

Chrome at present is best used extension-less. On its own it does a good job as long as you keep what you do simple.

Examples of where I use Chrome

Chrome for me is a secondary browser, and there are two instances where I use it most:

Opening a crapload of tabs

IE8 opens separate instances of iexplore.exe for each tab. This is good, except the problem is that IE is slow on the draw with tab launching. Chrome launches tabs the same way with separate instances of chrome.exe for each tab and does it a whole lot faster.

If I'm in WordPress and need to edit 50 articles all in separate tabs, Chrome can handle that easily. IE can do it too but it just takes a lot longer, and I hate waiting.

Use-browser-as-dedicated-app

If there's something I want to put on the second monitor and want it dedicated to a specific window as a separate process, Chrome is really good for this. I can load up Yahoo! Mail or a Ustream feed or whatever, use Chrome for that and let it sit while I do other work in Firefox. I know that since the process is separated completely, Firefox won't screw it up if it decides to do something screwy on me.

Is Chrome becoming more popular?

Yes, but not as much as you'd think.

According to nerds, Chrome is taking over the world. But stats tell a different story.

StatCounterGlobal

If you look at Chrome adoption worldwide over the course of year, it's still waaaaay down there. It is true that it's the third most popular browser in the world, but per overall usage it's way behind Firefox, and Firefox is way behind IE. That's just the way it is.

You also have to remember it took Firefox a long, long time to even get where it is. At this point they've pretty much stagnated concerning wide adoption gains, but as far as Chrome overtaking Firefox, that won't happen unless Mozilla literally decides to stop making Firefox completely. Even if Firefox was gone, it would take Chrome at least a good solid 3 to 5 years to gain the market share that Firefox has now. If you're saying, "No way! It would be adopted way faster!", um.. no, I don't think so.

On a final note, something interesting happened with the goog. They used to promote Chrome directly on the google.com home page and now it's not there anymore. If they expect Chrome to be used more, why did they drop the link to their own browser on their own web site?

The goog does some strange stuff sometimes.. I've given up trying to figure out what their angle is.

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