5 things you need to know about Google Chrome

It won’t crash your browserGoogle Chrome will treat each tab as a separate process, so Javascript runs in the background while you browse. So if

It won’t crash your browser

Google Chrome will treat each tab as a separate process, so Javascript runs in the background while you browse. So if you hit a bug, only that tab dies, not your entire browser. You’ll also be able to see which sites are consuming your CPU, just like task manager.

You can also save web application shortcuts to your favourite apps, which will launch in separate, self-contained windows, thereby making your browsing a whole lot more stable.

It’s all about tabs

Tabbed browsing is nothing new, but Chrome elevates them to killer feature status. Grab them with your mouse and you can switch them around or drag them down to the browser to open up a new window. Plus, placing them above the address bar gives you much more browser real estate.

Borrowing heavily from Opera’s Speed Dial feature, your nine most visited sites will be presented to you as thumbnails when you open Chrome. Unfortunately, unlike Opera, you can’t handpick your sites.  

It’s Google through and through

Start typing a URL in the address bar and you’ll notice it’s also the search box. Type in ‘GM’ and Google Mail springs up, not that we’d accuse Google of being self-interested. It’s very similar to Firefox 3’s Awesome bar but integrating the search window just neatens things up.

Of course, Google Chrome integrates perfectly with Google Gears and apps like mail and docs, but there’s no indication that Google intends to allow a Firefox plethora of third party add–ons just yet.  

It won’t give away your secrets

If you want to browse in perfect privacy, Chrome’s Incognito mode lets you surf without recording anything in your browsing history and no cookies are accepted. Expect this to be known as ‘Porn Mode’ in no time at all.

It wants to put the fear of Google into the competition

Taking aim squarely at Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Google Chrome wants to challenge IE’s 80 per cent domination of web browsing. Certainly, its better design, speed and features outclass IE, not to mention it’s a lot less likely to crash. But will many people be bothered to change?

Probably not. The fact is that Chrome will most likely eat into Safari and Firefox users, although the fact that Chrome is built on the same WebKit engine as Safari may benefit Apple in the long run. In the house of Mozilla, there may be some shaking of fists at Google’s interpretation of Firefox 3’s Awesome bar, but Google will continue to collaborate with Mozilla and true geeks are unlikely to want to give up their Firefox expansions like Scribefire and Firebug any time soon.

Have you downloaded Google Chrome? Let us know what you think below or head on over to Tom Dunmore's in-depth review for more info.