I’d noticed that Google Chrome (on my Mac, at least) was taking longer and longer to get started, and then I’d still have to wait for several minutes for any of my autocomplete history or favicons on the bookmarks bar to show up. As it turned out, I’d never cleared my history before, and that was really killing startup performance on what is otherwise a very, very fast browser. Of course, after clearing my history, all the URL auto-complete history I’d built up over months of use has to be restored, and that is mildly frustrating — but not necessarily as frustrating as waiting for the browser to get started.
Google is in overdrive with cranking out versions of Chrome. I personally stick to the beta channel, which got bumped to version 8.0.552.28 yesterday. I finally restarted Chrome for it to take effect today, and while there don’t appear to be any immediately visible changes, there are some great tweaks particularly in the developer tools, which now display the name and dimensions of any element on the page as you hover over them in the inspector. The status bar finally expands to show longer URLs, and there is an integrated PDF viewer (which I’ve yet to try). about:flags also yields some interesting experimental features to try, including GPU 3D acceleration and Google Instant results. The breakneck pace at which Google is releasing Chrome updates these days is mind-boggling; the Dev channel is already at version 9, suggesting that Chrome 7 will have a pretty short reign as the stable Chrome release (which it became on October 19).
It’s been around a month since I pulled the trigger and made the Google Chrome beta channel (which I’ve since upgraded to the dev channel for extension support) the default browser on my Mac. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough to where I can’t go back to Firefox now as my daily driver.
The three big reasons why Chrome reigns supreme? Speed, more speed, and WebKit. And now that extensions have come over to the Mac, there’s not too terribly many reasons to stick with Firefox anymore.