The 7 Days Chrome Experiment
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 5:02:32 PM
However, since on the Android the well known Chrome browser is very nicely optimized, and I have to admit faster than Opera, I decided to make an experiment. I used only Chrome for the past 9 days (originally I planned only one week, thus the title).
For the experiment to be as complete as possible, I decided to use Chrome on all of the computers and phones I work on. These would be:
- My HP home computer - Sabayon Linux 64 bits
- My MacMini work computer - MacOS X Lion 32 bits (I think)
- My Galaxy Note 2 phone - Android 4.1.1
Before entering into installing extensions and configuration my first impressions were these: Chrome was faster and better integrated on the Note 2, about the same on the MacOS and visibly slower on the Linux PC.
The next thing I looked at was the synchronization capability each browser offered. I could make an extensive comparative list here, but I will not. The thing is that both browsers are about the same. They both sync a lot of things but not necessary the same things. Chrome has the plus of synchronized tabs while Opera has synchronized notes in plus.
The rest of the experiment was about having a set of features working on Chrome which I consider core to my style of working. Some or many of these may be totally irrelevant for many of you and I perfectly understand your point of view, but for me it was really important to have at least some of them.
So, after all these 9 days I managed to find extensions for a lot of things that can at leas approximate what I want:
- Pin tabs and prevent them from closing - not working very well but bettern than nothing
- I configured and use GMail web client - acceptable but not as good as Opera's builtin M2 client
- Google Reader - nice concept, I could get used to it.
- Custom keyboard shortcuts - yes, you actually need an extension for that. I found a couple of them capable of assigning basic shortcuts. Opera's builtin shortcuts are a clear winner on this category
- Forward slash search - there are actually a couple of extensions for this and they work really well
- Scratchpad - can be used instead of Opera's built-in notes
And here are the pieces that I still miss:
- Mouse gestures are just not working on Linux or MacOS
- A better mail client
- Make sure pinned tabs can not be closed
- A working spell checker
And yes, after all these 20 or so extensions were installed, Chrome was much slower than Opera with about the same functionalities available both on MacOS and Linux.
As for the Android integration what I like with Chrome is the sync tabs feature and the ability to copy/paste text and links. Speed wise Chrome loads pages clearly faster but the difference is not that much.
Final conclusion is that I could live with Chrome. I could get used to or find solutions for what I still miss. However I am not convinced so I will start the Opera Experiment (see next blog post for more details).