Google Chrome: first looks

I've been playing around with Google Chrome this morning on my work (Windows) machine. This is Google's browser software, and I have to say I'm impressed. I had expected something a fair bit less polished, but instead we've got a near-usable browser already! Something that still hasn't happened with Apple's Safari on Windows. What's more, this will (soon) be available on all platforms.

The new browser is fast, stable, slick and smooth. The chrome-less interface is very impressive, and makes perfect sense when you consider the browser the centre of your computer interface, as Google intends. Memory use is very modest, with each tab separated out into its own process. In total it's using 175 megs of memory, versus 152 megs for Firefox for similar activity. Importantly though, it doesn't seem to bloat out with repeated use.

JavaScript works fine with Google applications, less well with some other sites. It's certainly zippy though! Gmail and Google Analytics zoom along nicely.

Developer tools look interesting so far, with a DOM inspector hidden under the confusingly-named JavaScript console -- there's a console there, but a whole lot more too! It would be hard to have FireBug-level functionality in this first release, but there's a good chunk of it there. I've got some work to do making sure everything works in this new browser, so the development tools (or lack thereof) will either make life easier or (as with IE) very hard.

The only thing I can see preventing me from making this my main browser is the lack of an ad blocker, but I'm sure one will be along shortly. Once it's available for Linux, with an ad blocker, I suspect I'll be making the switch.