Google Chrome

Google Chrome

Download Editors' Rating:
5
Spectacular
Average User Rating:
3.7
out of 3104 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    10.0.648.127
  • Total Downloads:
    25,948,328
  • Date Added:
    Mar. 08, 2011
  • Price:
    Free
  • File Size:
    Not available
  • Downloads Last Week:
    20,244
  • Platform:
    Windows
  • Product ranking:
    #2 in Web Browsers

Editors' Review

+

The bottom line: Google Chrome 10 comes with a full range of competitive features, and is among the most standards-compliant and fastest browsers available. It lacks some of the fine-tuning customizations in Firefox, but Chrome's minimalist interface, fast page-load times, and support for extensions make the browser appealing to the average user as well as to Google fanatics.

Review:
Google Chrome continues to mature from a lightweight and fast browsing alternative into an innovative browser that's also on the precipice of a potential browsing revolution with the pending Chrome OS. The browser that people can use today, Chrome 10, offers highly competitive features including synchronization, autofill, and standards compliance, and maintains Google's reputation for building one of the fastest browsers available.

Chrome 10 represents a major milestone for the browser, but those expecting to see dramatic changes in major-point updates will be disappointed. For several months now, Google has been pushing features over what it calls milestone numbers, which means that as soon as new features are usable in the stable version of Chrome, Google will likely push them to all users.

The big change in Chrome 10 is a dramatically faster JavaScript engine. Other changes include moving settings from a separate dialog box into a single tab, and limited hardware acceleration for video playback. These are discussed below in the Features and Performance sections.

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 (Windows | Mac), Chrome dev (Windows | Mac), and Chrome Canary (Windows only) 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 the browser from Google's Web site, it will ask you if you'd like to anonymously 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 2 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 may not like having 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 icon 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 submenu.

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 is that this maintains a uniform look in the browser, but it definitely limits how much the browser can be customized. Chrome doesn't support sidebars, either, although other Chromium-based browsers (such as Flock 3) do offer the feature.

A minor change in Chrome 10 is that settings pages now open in their own tab, rather than a dialog box. This brings Chrome the browser into parity with Chrome the operating system, where the feature first debuted. We like the left nav tabbed layout for settings, making it easy to jump between settings submenus as well as keeping Chrome to one window.

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 9's features are accessible from the Preferences menu, via the wrench icon on the right side of the navigation bar. 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 cookie 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. However, Chrome runs on a different JavaScript engine than its WebKit cousins, and there are other changes as well.

In Chrome 10, as mentioned above, the biggest improvement is to Chrome's JavaScript engine. The new Crankshaft version of Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine, Google claims, is 66 percent faster than the one in Chrome 9. The importance of JavaScript performance has grown dramatically in the past year as developers have been writing not just Web sites but full-featured Web apps in JavaScript. Check out CNET's own benchmarks of the browser below in the Performance section.

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 exists in its own task process. This means that when one site crashes, the other tabs do not. Though memory leaks are a major concern in Chrome when you have dozens of tabs open, we found 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 positive 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 with.

Chrome also offers a lot of privacy-tweaking settings. In the Options menu, go to the Under the Hood tab. From here, you 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 broad control over search engines and search customizations. Though 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 they don't 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.

Two other low-profile but well-executed features in Chrome are 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 HTML5 standards. This will become more important in the coming months and years, but right now it doesn't greatly affect interaction with Web sites.

Other changes in Chrome 10 mostly address under-the-hood tech that users won't see, but will change the browser's behavior slightly. This includes sandboxing the built-in version of Adobe Flash, which means that if Flash crashes, it will only take down the page that it's loaded on and not the entire browser. Chrome has sandboxed other plug-ins for more than a year. Chrome 10 also integrates Google's open-source VP8 video codec, but notably removes support for the licensed H.264 codec, which requires the software publisher to pay a license fee before it can be used. Hardware-accelerated video also made it into this version of Chrome, which means that Chrome can now make use of your computer's graphics card to run video faster and more smoothly. At this point, though, Chrome's hardware acceleration is limited, unlike the soon-to-be released Internet Explorer 9 and Firefox 4.

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

Security improvements in Chrome 10 include disabling outdated plug-ins by default and automatic malware reporting. However, this does not preclude the need for adequate, up-to-date security software on your system. Password sync is also now enabled by default as a part of Chrome's synchronization feature.

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 often faster.

Google has claimed that Chrome 10 is 66 percent faster than Chrome 9, and CNET benchmarks will be added here soon. Historically, Chrome has been one of the top three fastest browsers available across multiple benchmarks, and that's not expected to change in version 10.

Conclusion
It's hard to tell which is faster, user adoption of Chrome or its development. Certainly the two are linked, and due in no small part to Google's ability to lay claim to the "fastest browser" title, even when it may not be strictly true. The rest of Chrome's appeal lies in its clean, minimalist look, and competitive features that justify its still-increasing market share. Chrome is 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 20
    • 4 star 11
    • 3 star 4
    • 2 star 1
    • 1 star 4
  • All Versions

    3.7

    out of 3104 votes

    • 5 star 1198
    • 4 star 791
    • 3 star 443
    • 2 star 250
    • 1 star 422
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Results 1–11 of 40

5 stars

"Google Chrome: the browser for pros"

March 16, 2011  |  By brian1454

 |  Version: Google Chrome 10.0.648.127

Pros

Very fast
Very light
Trustable
Many extra and nice functions
Minimalistic, beautiful and very well working

Cons

still less customization options in comparisment to Firefox or Internet explorer

Summary

I've been using Chrome since it's beta release and still using it hapily every single day.
THIS is how a browser should look like! i realy find it shamefull how utterly bad and failing IE 7 and below was.

First of all: chrome is FAST, realy fast!
All benchmark tests show Chrome is the fastest browser and this is realy noticable.
Also a noticable new function in chrome 10 is 'instant'.
What this basicly does is load your webpage before you even typed the URL.
In earlier version of chrome i only had to type "y" and press enter to visit youtube.com (which is visit every day).
now i only have to press y and youtube instantly loads!
it realy is that simple and it work very well.

Chrome looks nice and minimalistic.
after all, browsing the web is about the content of the webpage, not the browser itself!
i can still remember in the good old windows xp+IE6 days where people had more browser and toolsbars filling their screen than actual website content!

The best about chrome is yet to come: the feeling.
not only does it feel very fast, trustable and responding but it is very nice to work with.
one of the first unique function of chrome, which was in the beta, is the ability to switch tabs.
if you have 2 chrome windows, with both 2 tabs, you can easily move one tab from the one to the other window.
chrome offers so much smaller and bigger functions, as a whole it is close to perfect.

lastely i would like to talk about the option and custimazation.
if you are used to the wide possibilities of customization in Firefox and Internet Explorer this is kind of a bummer...
Though chrome offers the basic features, and some extra's (like google sync, instants etc.) you can do much more with Firefox.
This is not a problem at all though, chrome still offers all the basic and advanced customization options you would need.


if you are still reading this after the review, or if you are just reading the last sentence i can recommend you one thing:
TRY GOOGLE CHROME!
download it at google.com/chrome and install, it takes about 30 seconds and a few clicks.
i am sure most of the people who take the effort to try Chrome will permanently stick to it.
try it and feel the chrome feeling of web browsing anno 2011

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3 stars

"Love it, except for 2 things :-)"

March 18, 2011  |  By sagrava

 |  Version: Google Chrome 10.0.648.127

Pros

Love the speed !! --- Much faster than IE.
Love that I can choose settings to make it search "immediately", as I'm typing keywords -- Wow!!

Cons

1)AOL email opens in a separate window, instead of TAB. In fact, it opens as 2 (count 'em, 2) windows. Internet Explorer has TAB SETTINGS, which I love.
2) GChrome needs a warning option to ask if I want to close. IE has a setting for this.

Summary

Google Chrome's speed is what keeps me coming back, but whenever I run into either of the 2 problems (mentioned in "Cons" above), I admit that I am tempted to go back to Internet Explorer.
Fix those and I think you've got a FANTASTIC product !!
THANKS FOR ASKING !!

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3 stars

"Reliable with little down time"

March 18, 2011  |  By PublicLobbyist

 |  Version: Google Chrome 10.0.648.127

Pros

usually fast.

Cons

I'm still having trouble selecting from drop downs in forms. I select but it doesn't get added to forms. I have to manually add.

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4 stars

"too new to evaluate"

March 17, 2011  |  By donjax

 |  Version: Google Chrome 10.0.648.127

Pros

Simple, easy to install...no apparent glitches; but I just downloaded and haven't put it to the test that only a tech dummy could devise.

Cons

Plain brown wrapper---perhaps too plain.

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1 stars

"Wish I could go back to an earlier version"

March 17, 2011  |  By noeltk

 |  Version: Google Chrome 10.0.648.127

Pros

I like the look

Cons

Lots of problems, especially with gmail

Summary

I had the same problem when Opera upgraded so I went to Google Chrome, now I'll have to find a new browser.

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4 stars

"Very Fast Browser"

March 17, 2011  |  By khilton0618

 |  Version: Google Chrome 10.0.648.127

Pros

I truly LOVE Chrome! I installed it almost immediately when I purchased my laptop. It's super fast without any hesitation at all.

Cons

Absolutely nothing.

Summary

GET IT!!

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4 stars

"It does what it is supposed to do, fast and beautifully"

March 17, 2011  |  By Gilberto8722

 |  Version: Google Chrome 10.0.648.127

Pros

You choose if you want o clutter it wth options ans apps, otherwise it is wonderfully lean and clean... and FAST!

Cons

I´d like it to have the option of saving the last configuration, fbefore log out, just as the Firefox has.

Summary

I use it, like it ans will not change from it, unless someone else proves that there is somethig superior, so far there's none.

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5 stars

"excellent browser."

March 17, 2011  |  By walter8762

 |  Version: Google Chrome 10.0.648.127

Pros

Fast and efficient.

Cons

None so far.

Summary

I use Google Chrome as my main browser and have done so for some time now. Each upgrade just seems to make it better and it's the fastest one I have found. Keep up the good work Google.

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4 stars

"Chrome is fast and complete"

March 17, 2011  |  By aux21pmcm

 |  Version: Google Chrome 10.0.648.127

Pros

At times when Firefox is skow, going to Chrome is a whip.

Cons

I haven't found any yet

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5 stars

"fast, easy & complete"

March 17, 2011  |  By claude.wolteche

 |  Version: Google Chrome 10.0.648.127

Pros

fast, easy & complete

Cons

none, all is fine for me

Summary

keep up the good work

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3 stars

"Great Browser, but Flash Player crashes a lot"

March 17, 2011  |  By opicak86

 |  Version: Google Chrome 10.0.648.127

Pros

Fast, light, responsive. The instant search feature is great.
Add-block feature.

Cons

Adobe Flash player built in and crashes a lot. Menus are not very intuitive. Difficult migration from IE or Mozilla for some people due to a different interface.

Summary

I still like it the most. It's fast and light. The only problem with it is that in version 10, the flash player just crashes all the time, making it almost unusable, forcing users to restart the browser. Otherwise the last version really seems even faster. Well done Google, just please sort out the Flash player issue. Thanks :-)

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Results 1–11 of 40

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Full Specifications

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What's new in version 10.0.648.127

Version 10.0.648.127 adds the following changes:

  • New version of V8 - Crankshaft - which greatly improves javascript performance
  • New settings pages that open in a tab, rather than a dialog box
  • Improved security with malware reporting and disabling outdated plugins by default
  • Sandboxed Adobe Flash on Windows
  • Password sync as part of Chrome Sync now enabled by default
  • GPU Accelerated Video
  • Background WebApps
  • webNavigation extension API

As well as the following security fixes:

  • [42574] [42765] Low Possible to navigate or close the top location in a sandboxed frame. Credit to sirdarckcat of the Google Security Team.
  • [Linux only] [49747] Low Work around an X server bug and crash with long messages. Credit to Louis Lang.
  • [Linux only] [66962] Low Possible browser crash with parallel print()s. Credit to Aki Helin of OUSPG.
  • [69187] Medium Cross-origin error message leak. Credit to Daniel Divricean.
  • [69628] High Memory corruption with counter nodes. Credit to Martin Barbella.
  • [70027] High Stale node in box layout. Credit to Martin Barbella.
  • [70336] Medium Cross-origin error message leak with workers. Credit to Daniel Divricean.
  • [70442] High Use after free with DOM URL handling. Credit to Sergey Glazunov.
  • [Linux only] [70779] Medium Out of bounds read handling unicode ranges. Credit to miaubiz.
  • [$1337] [70877] High Same origin policy bypass in v8. Credit to Daniel Divricean.
  • [70885] [71167] Low Pop-up blocker bypasses. Credit to Chamal de Silva.
  • [71763] High Use-after-free in document script lifetime handling. Credit to miaubiz.
  • [71788] High Out-of-bounds write in the OGG container. Credit to Google Chrome Security Team (SkyLined); plus subsequent independent discovery by David Weston of Microsoft and MSVR.
  • [72028] High Stale pointer in table painting. Credit to Martin Barbella.
  • [73026] High Use of corrupt out-of-bounds structure in video code. Credit to Tavis Ormandy of the Google Security Team.
  • [73066] High Crash with the DataView object. Credit to Sergey Glazunov.
  • [73134] High Bad cast in text rendering. Credit to miaubiz.
  • [73196] High Stale pointer in WebKit context code. Credit to Sergey Glazunov.
  • [73716] Low Leak of heap address in XSLT. Credit to Google Chrome Security Team (Chris Evans).
  • [73746] High Stale pointer with SVG cursors. Credit to Sergey Glazunov.
  • [74030] High DOM tree corruption with attribute handling. Credit to Sergey Glazunov.
  • [74662] High Corruption via re-entrancy of RegExp code. Credit to Christian Holler.
  • [74675] High Invalid memory access in v8. Credit to Christian Holler.

General
Publisher Google
Publisher web site http://www.google.com/
Release Date March 08, 2011
Date Added March 08, 2011
Version 10.0.648.127
Category
Category Browsers
Subcategory Web Browsers
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size Not Available
File Name UNKNOWN
Popularity
Total Downloads 25,948,328
Downloads Last Week 20,244
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

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