I made the switch to Google’s Chrome Web browser recently, and I’m liking the change. Mozilla Firefox served me well for years, but it began to feel a bit clunky — no doubt in part because it was working under the weight of many extensions I added.
Still, the things that makes Chrome so appealing to me are the same things that have drawn increasing numbers of other users: its streamlined interface, its rapid-fire refresh rates and Google’s reputation of innovation and frequent upgrades to its ever-improving and always state-of-the-art product.
In fact, last month the number of users worldwide using Chrome surpassed Firefox for the first time. Neither of those two has the adoption rate of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, but don’t be surprised if Chrome overtakes Explorer someday soon.
All three browsers offer fine features, and they tend to overlap in functionality.
But the latest version of Chrome boasts a functionality and improvements that make it worth considering.
Borrowing from Google’s instant search feature that displays query results as you press each letter of a search term, the new Chrome takes the concept a step further. When you begin typing the name of a search term or website address, you have to type only one or two letters before Chrome takes over and, based on your browsing history, not only displays the Web link it thinks you are looking for, but also displays the Web page.
So when I begin typing n and o, Chrome knows I’m looking for The Record’s website at northjersey.com; it begins to appear even before I am halfway through spelling north.
The new Chrome also includes a tool to protect users from invasive files: A malware filter alerts users not only to potentially dangerous files, but to websites known for harboring malicious or nuisance software.
But perhaps the best feature of Chrome is the huge selection of rich add-ons that greatly boost the browser experience.
Here are some of my favorites: