I got an email today about Google Chrome finally being released in Beta for Mac. I downloaded it, taking somewhere in the region of 20 minutes, and got it installed.
It asked me if I wanted to transfer all of my setting and stuff from Safari. I did, and it imported all bookmarks, history, favourites and passwords, apparently.
First off, the Passwords didn't happen. So I had to try to remember what they all were for iGoogle and GMail etc. (See my post on 1Password). So after all this business, I started to have a goose at the settings.
I wanted to have the bottom bar on so I could see where a link would take me when I hovered the pointer over it. There is no setting for this, but I found that a web address appeared in a bubble after holding the pointer over for a few seconds.
I also wanted Chrome to gather all my logins from Safari. It didn't. I had to try remembering them. After failing this, I thought of 1Password, and then came back to good ol' Safari.
I also didn't like how the Tabs bar is above the URL bar. This happened in the Beta for Safari 4, and that turned into a right mess. There is no option to change this. I also found that I had to actually click the '+' symbol to open a new tab. I am used to just double clicking anywhere in the Tab Bar. And for the 'X' button to close a tab to be on the left, not the right.
The Bookmarks Bar is also a bit big. It is the same as Safari, except it has a logo of the website next to the name. This makes it much bigger, and I could not fit all of my buttons on the screen without them being messy, confusing and squished.
When a new Tab is opened, it opens a Popular Pages screen, similar to the default in Safari, except this cannot be changed as far as I can see. I would have preferred my Homepage to load as it does in Safari, and every other browser I have used.
There is virtually no ability to customise the Toolbar, other than adding/removing the Home Button.
Also, after using Safari and Adblock for so long, I cannot understand how anyone can go without it. There are adverts on websites I never even knew had adverts. However, since Chrome is Open Source, a similar add-on may still happen eventually.
I understand that this browser is still in Beta, but for the wait I was seriously expecting something better than this. It's like the awful Safari 4 Beta, but all of the rubbishness was taken out of the final build, except from that blue loading bar that I loved in Safari 3. Sadly, in Safari 4 they decided to get rid of it.
You can download it from here if you want, but I would recommend just waiting for the Beta to end and the final public version to come out.
When they base the whole Chrome OS on this style, which they are, I can't see myself being a customer.
Chrome Browser [Beta]: 4/10.
Not as good as I'd hoped, but it is still in Beta so there is time for it to improve.