Google Chrome

Google Chrome

Download Editors' Rating:
5
Spectacular
Average User Rating:
3.7
out of 3088 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    7.0.517.44
  • Total Downloads:
    25,461,134
  • Date Added:
    November 04, 2010
  • File Size:
    Not available
  • Downloads Last Week:
    23,099
  • Operating Systems:
    Windows XP/Vista/7

Editors' Review

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The bottom line: Google Chrome 7 is not only stable to use, but comes with a full range of competitive features. It lacks some of the fine-tuning customizations in Firefox, but overall users browsing with Chrome will find it a pleasant, fast, and standards-compliant experience.

Review: Now into its second year, Google Chrome has begun to mature from a lightweight and fast browsing alternative into an innovative browser on the precipice of a potential browsing revolution with the pending ChromeOS. The browser that people can use today, Chrome 7, offers highly competitive features including synchronization, autofill, and and maintains Google's reputation for building one of the fastest browsers available.

Chrome 7 represents a major milestone point for the browser, but users who are familiar with seeing dramatic changes in major-point updates will be disappointed. New features are thin, with only a new interface for cookie management offering anything in the way of a visual change. Other improvements include an update to the HTML5 parser and the arrival of the HTML5 file API. This allows Web-based content to read the content of local files. Chrome 7 can also upload complete directories.

Please note that there are at least four versions of Chrome available at the moment, and this review only addresses the "stable" branch, intended for general use. Chrome beta, dev, and Canary are respectively progressively less stable versions of the browser, and aimed at developers.

Installation:

Chrome's installation process is simple and straightforward. If you download from Google's Web site, it will ask you if you'd like to anonymous submit usage statistics to the company. This can be toggled even after the browser's installed by going to the "Wrench" preferences menu, choosing Options, then Under the Hood, and unchecking Help Make Chrome Better. Depending on your processor, the installation process should take less than two minutes.

Interface:

Google's Chrome interface has changed remarkably little since its surprise debut in September 2008. Tabs are still on top, the location bar--which Google likes to call the "Omnibar"--dominates the minimalist design, and the browser has few visible control buttons besides Back, Forward, and a combined Stop/Reload button. Although some users may not like the tabs on top, we find it to be aesthetically preferable because it leaves more room below for the Web site we're looking at.

One change has been to remove the secondary Page options button, and combine it with the preferences Wrench to create space for extension icons to the right of the location bar. As it currently looks, it could be better organized. Some controls, such as page zoom, are readily available. Others, such as the extension manager, are hidden away under a Tools sub-menu.

Chrome's extensions are fairly limited in how they can alter the browser's interface. Unlike Firefox, which gives add-on makers a lot of leeway to change the browser's look, Chrome mandates that extensions appear only as icons to the right of the location bar. The benefit maintains a uniform look in the browser, but it definitely limits how much the browser can be customized. Versions 6 and 7 of Chrome don't support sidebars, either, although other Chromium-based browsers (such as the Flock 3 beta) do offer the feature.

Even with its limitations, the interface design has remained a contemporary exemplar of how to minimize the browser's screen footprint while remaining easy-to-use and versatile.

Features and Support:

Chrome 7's features are accessible from the preferences menu, and the browser offers a complete range of modern browsing conveniences. The basics are well-represented, including tabbed browsing, new window creation, and a private browsing mode that Google calls "Incognito" which disables cookies tracking, history recording, extension support and other browsing breadcrumbs.

Chrome is based on WebKit, the same open-source engine that powers Apple Safari, Google's Android mobile platform, and several other desktop and mobile Web-browsing tools. Chrome runs on a different JavaScript engine than its WebKit cousins, and there are other changes, as well.

Chrome's tabs remain one of the best things about the browser. The tabs are detachable: "tabs" and "windows" are interchangeable here. Detached tabs can be dragged and dropped into the browser, and tabs can be rearranged at any time by clicking, holding, dragging, and releasing. Not only can tabs be isolated, but each tab actually exists in its own task process. This means that when one site crashes, the other tabs do not. While memory leaks are a major concern in Chrome when you have dozens of tabs open, sluggish behavior and other impediments weren't noticeable until after there were more than 30 tabs open. That's not an immutable number, though, and a computer's hardware will alter browser performance.

Some of the basics in Chrome are handled extremely intuitively. In-page searching works smoothly. Using the CTRL + F hot key or the menu option, searching for a word or phrase will open a text entry box on the top right of the browser. It searches as you type, indicating the number of positives results and highlighting them on the page.

Account syncing is another area where Chrome excels. Using your Gmail account, Chrome will sync your themes, preferences, autofill entries, extensions, and bookmarks. You can toggle each of those categories, too. It does not yet offer password syncing, although the password manager offers a smart show password option that keeps it visually separate from the site that it's associated to.

Chrome also contains a lot of privacy-tweaking settings. In the Options menu, go to the Under the Hood tab. From here, users can toggle and customize most of the browser's privacy and security settings. Cookies, image management, JavaScript, plug-ins, pop-ups, location information, and notifications can be adjusted from the Content Settings button. This includes toggling specific plug-ins, such as the built-in Adobe Flash plug-in or the Chrome PDF reader (which is deactivated by default.)

Like Firefox, Chrome gives users broad control over search engines and setting search customizations. While this doesn't sound like much, not all browsers allow you to set keyword shortcuts for searching, and some even restrict which search engine you can set as your default. Chrome comes with three defaults to choose from: Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

The Chrome extension manager, bookmark manager, and download manager all open in new tabs. They allow you to search their contents and throw in some basic management options like deletion, but in general none feel as robust as their counterparts in competing browsers. For example, URLs in the bookmark manager are only revealed when you mouse over a bookmark, and you must click on one to get the URL to permanently appear. That's an extra click that other browsers don't require of you.

Two other low-profile but well-executed features in Chrome include auto-updating and translation. Chrome automatically updates when a new version comes out. This makes it harder to revert back to an older version, but it's highly unlikely that you'll want to downgrade this build of Chrome since this is the stable build and not the beta or developer's version. The second feature, automatic translation of Web pages, is available to other browsers as a Google add-on, but because it comes from Google it's baked directly into Chrome.

Chrome is also a leader in HTML5 implementation, which is uneven because of the continuing development of HMTL5 standards. This will become more important in the coming months and years, but for right now it doesn't massively affect a user's interaction with Web sites.

In the realm of security, besides allowing users to disable JavaScript, Chrome will autoblock Web sites that are known as unsafe or for promulgating phishing attacks and malware threats. This depends on Google's ability to flag Web sites as risky, though, and so it's recommended to use a network like the Web of Trust extension or a separate security program to block threats.

Performance:

Based on the open-source WebKit engine and Google's V8 JavaScript engine, Google Chrome debuted to much fanfare because of its rocketing rendering speeds. Two years down the line, that hasn't changed, and the stable version of Chrome remains one of the fastest stable browsers available. The less-stable versions, with their more recent improvements and bug-fixes, are even faster.

CNET benchmarks will be added here shortly, but Google claims that Chrome 6's JavaScript rendering is 10 times faster than when Chrome was first released in 2008. Historically, Chrome has been one of the fastest browsers available across multiple benchmarks, and that's not expected to change in version 6 or 7.

Conclusion:

Where Chrome 5 was the first version of the browser that felt fully baked, Chrome 6 began to add serious features to that foundation while improving usability. Chrome 7 in terms of new features, Chrome 7 feels more like a minor-point update. Still, it's a ready-to-go browser that offers top-of-the-line speed, a clean, minimalist look, and competitive features that justify its still-increasing market share. It does have minor problems, but Chrome should be a serious option for anybody who wants a browser that gets out of the way of browsing the Web.

 
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Publisher's Description

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User Reviews
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  • Current Version

    4.1

    out of 40 votes

    • 5 star 19
    • 4 star 13
    • 3 star 2
    • 2 star 4
    • 1 star 2
  • All Versions

    3.7

    out of 3088 votes

    • 5 star 1197
    • 4 star 790
    • 3 star 442
    • 2 star 249
    • 1 star 410
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1–10 of 40

1 stars

"STAY AWAY FROM THIS IF YOU LIKE PRIVACY!"

December 03, 2010  |  By achmedthealiveterrorist

 |  Version: Google Chrome 7.0.517.44

Pros

extremely fast,maybe the fastest,
quite stable,
one of the best in phishing/malware protection,
also this uses sandboxing so if someone found a vulnerability he wouldn't be able to execute it,which is good.

Cons

not so good interface,HUGE in size(200 or 120 mbs)cache is also huge,memory hog,has too many processes,lacks some fun features,bad integration with add-ons,LETS LOTS OF ADS THROUGH,DOESN'T BLOCK THE COOKIES I TELL IT TO,
NOT ENOUGH ROOM SEE BELOW.

Summary

THE BIGGEST DISADVANTAGE OF THIS BROWSER IS THAT IT HAS A BAD PRIVACY POLICY. ALSO THE VENDOR(GOOGLE) MAKES LOTS OF ADS AND TRACKING COOKIES.
THIS BROWSER SENDS OUT INFORMATION TO GOOGLE. STAY AWAY!!!
DON'T BELIEVE ME?READ IT'S PRIVACY POLICY OR EULA.

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5 stars

"Much faster than IE"

December 02, 2010  |  By e_sarsonas

 |  Version: Google Chrome 7.0.517.44

Pros

Faster browsing speed

Cons

Cannot properly load some page with java scripts

Summary

Fast and reliable...

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5 stars

"really a great product so far! Thank you."

December 02, 2010  |  By gnjoseraul

 |  Version: Google Chrome 7.0.517.44

Pros

faster than the other browsers

Cons

a little bit hard to understand at first...but now i have no problems.

Summary

thank you soooooooooo much for such a great product.....i should have used this a long time ago.

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2 stars

"chrome browser"

December 01, 2010  |  By apk44

 |  Version: Google Chrome 7.0.517.44

Pros

looks ok i guess

Cons

makes no sense

Summary

now here ladies and gents is a browser that 100% crap

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5 stars

"Best Web Browser out there"

December 01, 2010  |  By bntg

 |  Version: Google Chrome 7.0.517.44

Pros

Incredibly fast, lots of cool features (incognito window, separated tabs, etc.) a lot of great extensions, easy to use

Cons

I hear it does not work on some web pages, but I haven't discovered any of those yet, and I have heard the problem is being fixed. May not have as many extensions as Firefox, but still has a lot of good ones

Summary

great web browser, I recommend this to anyone who cares about speed on-line

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5 stars

"Quick, no lag, better than Firefox!"

December 01, 2010  |  By olerud42

 |  Version: Google Chrome 7.0.517.44

Pros

Superbly fast. Ease of use.

Cons

Not many, just takes time to adjust from Firefox

Summary

The jump to Chrome is the same feeling I got when I changed from IE to Firefox. My friend kept telling me how much faster Chrome was, but I was a stubborn Firefox believer. Now that I tried Chrome, I know what he was saying was true.

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5 stars

"Best browser"

December 01, 2010  |  By dimitrisdfiles

 |  Version: Google Chrome 7.0.517.44

Pros

fast simple ideal for windows 7

Cons

not any yet

Summary

i swiched from firefox to google Chrome!

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4 stars

"Fast & easy."

November 29, 2010  |  By mikuei

 |  Version: Google Chrome 7.0.517.44

Pros

It's a good browser; don't use it much.

Cons

Seems ok, I don't google much.

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5 stars

"best browser ever used"

November 26, 2010  |  By aklgupta

 |  Version: Google Chrome 7.0.517.44

Pros

everything
really fast at start-up as well at surfing got add-on gud looks awesomely gud tab managmnt n stability cloud updatin clean interface gud synchronizing(req google acc) and lots more

Cons

jst tht it doesnt support toolbars(dont worry even IE n firefox r gonna drop it soon as read in an article)

Summary

must try it
awesome - better thn any web browser i have used 4 windows(i hav used IE firefox opera safari seamonkey n chrome)
it has got almost all the features a normal surfer would want(without extensions/add-ons) n 1000s other feature too for other uses n all(via extensions)
built on web-kit tech the same as safari
supports all major web techs
etc etc etc

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5 stars

"Superior Speed"

November 22, 2010  |  By Anatsunin

 |  Version: Google Chrome 7.0.517.44

Pros

Fast and relatively simple.

Cons

nothing really.

Summary

Say if your computer runs at its optimum speed, this should surf through the internet easily. Speed is unmatched compared to any other browser.

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Results 1–10 of 40

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Full Specifications

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General
Publisher Google
Publisher web site http://www.google.com/
Release Date November 04, 2010
Date Added November 04, 2010
Version 7.0.517.44
Category
Category Browsers
Subcategory Web Browsers
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size Not Available
File Name UNKNOWN
Popularity
Total Downloads 25,461,134
Downloads Last Week 23,099
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

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