Google Chrome: A Web Browser and the Whole Shabang

Monday, July 11, 2011

Google Chrome, or Chrome for short, is a web browser that presents so much more than just a browser. I'd like to think of it more like a browsing 'experience'; or even an adventure if you will. You open one tab, close another just because you've accomplished that one little task on your way to your destination. Then again, sometimes it's like a road trip, you don't know where you're going. One thing I know, is that once again Google has brought innovation into another section of the web; here's how...
How about we break the Google Chrome Web Browser into three sections: the GUI(Graphical User Interface), the New Tab Page, and last but not least the Special Features, the things that set Chrome apart from the rest of these sometimes cluttered contraptions.

GUI (Graphical User Interface)

The GUI in Chrome is very small yet very powerful compared to other Web Browsers. I find it to be very uninvasive and also very useful. 

If we take a look at the left hand side of Chrome's "Top Bar" as I like to call it, we can see the BASIC Web Browser GUI with both the back and forward buttons, along with the bookmarks.
When we take a look at the right side, here's where the magic starts. The right side will be explained in further detail when we get to the "Special Features" section.
Last but not least about the GUI, tabs and pinned tabs. Pinned tabs are tab that remain at the left of the tab section and will remain there even after the restart of chrome. It's like having a bookmark open each time you open Chrome. 

New Tab Page

The new tab page is something that Chrome is known for. It displays installed web apps (further explained later), most visited web pages and latest closed tabs.

The background of the New Tab Page is changed with the themes. Themes can be found in the Google Web Store. I have not yet seen one theme that wasn't free so I assume that they all are. Each category on the New Tab Page is expandable and collapsible.

The Special Features

These are like plugins. The extensions provide information, extra functionality and even just make certain things easier (like bookmarking all tabs). A lot of extensions will appear on the right side of the Top Bar and will automatically run when Chrome starts up. The functionalities for extensions are endless and do anything from write a blog post to provide you with viewing blogs.

Apps: Apps are things that you get from the Chrome Web Store that you install and they appear on your new tab page. The apps range from anything like chess or something like Google Docs (being covered by my colleague later on this week).

Incognito Browsing: Instead of removing all your tabs to replace them with one simple private browsing window Incognito browsing allows you to keep everything open while having a separate window for historyless, cookieless, and carefree browsing.

Themes: Themes are a big one for me. I must switch my theme at least twice a week. I'll be looking through the Chrome Web Store and find a new one that I like; and I install it right away. Themes customize everything from the color of the back and forward buttons to the color of the main part of the GUI.

And Last but Not Least
The Chrome Web Store: Google Chrome would practically be a regular ol' web browser without it. The Chrome Web Store is where you obtain all the latest and greatest themes, extensions, and apps. 

My Take on the Browser: I've been using Google Chrome ever since version 2.0, and that was quite a while ago. Now we're at version 12. something something something. Google Chrome has always been THE most satisfying web browser for me. I used to be a firefox fanatic, but now it's all cool chrome for me. It offers a smooth, fast and productive web experience. Not to mention, the GUI isn't invasive whatsoever. 

Surprise: Chrome OS

Chrome OS is essentially Google Chrome as a full screen app and nothing else around it. All the features and functionalities are the same as Google Chrome. Chromebooks are available at big retailers around countries where available. 

P.S. Recommendation: If you already have or are just getting Chrome, I would suggest you get AdBlock Plus. It blocks almost every single Ad you can find on the web (including those nasty YouTube ones.)

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