Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Checking out Google Chrome Browser

For several years I've been a devotee of the Firefox browser (can't actually remember when I last used IE regularly, but I think it was back on version 6!). But lately Firefox has been a little sluggish at times, so I decided to give Google Chrome a try. I've been using it for about a week and the bottom line is .... I really like it! I had heard that it is fast, but since there are so many factors affecting web surfing speed, I was skeptical that a browser could make that much of a difference. I have to admit I was wrong. Chrome is actually noticeably faster. It's also very intuitive and easy to use.

The biggest drawback at this point is that doesn't have nearly as many add-ons as Firefox. One that I really miss is an integrated ftp tool like Fireftp. While I do have a stand-alone ftp program (Filezilla), when I'm making quick changes to my genealogy website it has been really convenient just open Fireftp as a tab within Firefox. Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, Chrome doesn't have an equivalent add-on. The other main drawback (and this is a big one for me) is that the enhanced image viewer at Ancestry.com doesn't work with Chrome. For that reason alone, I'll definitely still use Firefox when I need to do research at Ancestry.

On the other hand, I did find at least one amazing Chrome add-on called "Awesome Screenshot: Capture and Annotate" -- and it fully lives up to its name!! I was using it in combination with google newspaper archive search for my genealogy research. I was able to digitally snip out articles of interest (like old obituaries) from the browser (Chrome) window, annotate them with the newspaper name and date and save the annotated clips on my computer. Awesome!! I just know I'll be using that feature a lot!!

Anyway, just thought I'd write this quick post on Chrome. Bottom line -- give it a try!


  1. I'm also a fairly recent Chrome convert, having made the jump from Firefox. I switched to Firefox from IE a couple years ago because IE took so long to load on my already slooow netbook (which was my only computer at that time) that I could go make a sandwich while I waited for a page to load. Firefox was noticeably faster, but the browser footprint took up almost a third of my tiny screen. A trusted web guru friend recommended Chrome, which was perfect for the netbook. After some frustrating Firefox incidents, I decided to give Chrome a whirl on my desktop PC, and have decided to stick with it exclusively now on all my computers. I imported my FF bookmarks into Chrome on my desktop, and also store a bunch on my iGoogle page. I haven't noticed any problems with the Ancestry enhanced viewer in Chrome, though... maybe there's something you still need to install?

    I have not used the FF FTP plug-in, but do use Filezilla. Minor inconvenience to switch programs, but not a problem.

    BTW, how does "Awesome Screenshot" compare to Snagit?

    Love your scrapbook pages!

  2. Hi Elizabeth - thanks for the comments. To answer your question about Awesome Screenshot compared to SnagIt. I don't actually have SnagIt, but I checked out the TechSmith website for info on it. It appears to be a stand-alone program with a very robust picture editor. In comparison Awesome Screenshot has only a limited subset of the functionality of SnagIt. If you already have SnagIt, you probably wouldn't want Awesome Screenshot. But since Awesome Screenshot is free, it's a good choice for providing basic digital snipping and annotation.