Google Chrome

Google Chrome

Download Editors' Rating:
5
Spectacular
Average User Rating:
3.7
out of 3091 votes

Quick Specs

  • Version:
    19.0.1084.56
  • Total Downloads:
    25,508,521
  • Date Added:
    Jun. 08, 2012
  • Price:
    Free
  • File Size:
    Not available
  • Downloads Last Week:
    23,876
  • Platform:
    Windows
  • Product ranking:
    #2 in Web Browsers

Editors' Review

+

The bottom line: Competitiveness, thy name is Chrome. Google's browser is one of the fastest and most standards-compliant browsers available. It lacks some of the fine-tuning you'll find in Firefox, but from the minimalist interface to support for future-Web tech like Native Client and HTML5, the browser is a must.

Review:
Google Chrome has matured from a lightweight and fast browsing alternative into an innovative, standard-bearing browser that people love. It's powerful enough to drive its own operating system, Chrome OS. The browser that people can use today, Chrome 19, offers highly competitive features, including synchronization, autofill, and standards compliance, and maintains Google's reputation for building one of the fastest browsers available.

Chrome 19 represents a major milestone for the browser, but those expecting to see dramatic changes in major-point updates will be disappointed. For a while now, Google has been pushing features over what it calls milestone numbers in a rapid-release cycle, which means that as soon as new features are usable in the beta version of Chrome, Google will likely push them to all users in the stable edition.

Chrome 19 brings the advanced graphics support of WebGL and Canvas2D to older Windows and Mac computers. Unfortunately, the improvements do not apply to Linux.

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 (download) | Mac (download)), Chrome dev (Windows (download) | Mac (download)), and Chrome Canary (Windows (download) | Mac (download)) are 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 is installed by going to the wrench-icon Preferences menu and choosing Options, then Under the Hood, and checking or 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 (aka Omnibox) 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 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 stands, 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 in changing 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 to 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 Comodo Dragon) do offer the feature. There is an option in Chrome's about:flags, a series of experimental features, that lets you move the tabs to a sidebar.

Settings pages get their own tab, rather than a dialog box. If you sign in more than one Google account, you'll see the profile icons in the upper left corner on the tab row.

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

Features and support
Chrome 19's features are accessible from the Preferences menu via the wrench icon on the right side of the navigation bar. It 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.

Along with hardware-accelerated 3D CSS, there have been interesting security improvements. You can now delete Flash cookies from inside Chrome, which makes sense given that Chrome comes with Flash built in, and there's a new Safe Browsing protection against downloading malicious files. Chrome's Web app support now includes the ability to launch Web apps from the location bar. This gives keyboard jockeys a bit more power to avoid mousing around, more readily apparent in Chrome OS but nevertheless good to have in the regular old Chrome browser.

There's Native Client, too. Also known as NaCl, it's open-source technology that allows C and C++ code to be securely run in the browser. It basically lets software run within two protected sandboxes, which will theoretically cut down on browser-based threats dramatically. When completed, NaCl will enable Web apps to run as smoothly as programs that are hosted on your hard drive.

Besides allowing you to disable JavaScript, Chrome will automatically block Web sites that are known to promulgate phishing attacks and malware threats or be 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.

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).

Chrome offers malware scanning on Web pages to include downloads, and the precaching tool for loading sites in your search results early now works with the Omnibox location bar.

Print preview, formerly a small but glaring hole in Chrome's feature list, is now present in the Windows and Linux versions. Chrome stable for Mac still doesn't have the feature, which is powered by the PDF reader that comes built into Chrome.

Chrome's tabs remain one of the best things about the browser. The tabs are detachable: "tabs" and "windows" become 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 tab 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 different computers' hardware will alter browser performance.

You can now sync tabs and their browsing histories to other computers and devices in Chrome 19. This includes Chrome for Android, expected to leave beta soon.

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. Chrome searches as you type, indicating the number of positive results and highlighting them on the page.

Account syncing is another area where Chrome does well. Using your Gmail account, Chrome will sync your themes, preferences, autofill entries, passwords, extensions, and bookmarks. You can toggle each of those categories, too. Extension syncing has been the roughest of the lot.

Chrome has multiple user account support. This means that you can now have multiple people, or at least multiple Gmail accounts, running in Chrome simultaneously. However, it's not "people-secure," meaning that although your data might be secured on Google servers, once an account is logged in to Chrome, you don't have to re-enter your account data. Anybody with access to Chrome on your computer can see your stuff.

The intuitive New Tab page allows you to create custom categories by dragging and dropping apps and bookmarks, and includes navigation arrows on the left and right edges of the page that become more visible on mouse-over.

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 interactions with Web sites.

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. More than three 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.

You can see CNET's most recent benchmark tests that included Google Chrome; while that particular version of Chrome didn't do too well, the browser has seen a lot of changes since that test and you definitely should not discount it.

Note that to effectively use hardware acceleration you must make sure that your graphics card drivers are up-to-date. Nevertheless, Chrome remains one of the fastest browsers available, and its rapid version update rate ensures that it is consistently competitive. It finally has extended hardware accelerated graphics to older Windows and Macs courtesy improvements to WebGL support and changes to Canvas2D.

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 justified. 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

    3.1

    out of 11 votes

    • 5 star 3
    • 4 star 1
    • 3 star 4
    • 2 star 0
    • 1 star 3
  • All Versions

    3.7

    out of 3091 votes

    • 5 star 1197
    • 4 star 791
    • 3 star 443
    • 2 star 249
    • 1 star 411
  • My rating

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1–10 of 11

5 stars

"Superb Program !"

June 23, 2012  |  By DanielMan2

 |  Version: Google Chrome 19.0.1084.56

Pros

Great Browser :) You customize your browser, You can now surf Youtube swiftly and Adobe doesn't crash Unlike Mozilla Firefox.

It Has a good Bookmarking system and it remembers my accounts as well

Cons

None that i Know off

Summary

I Hope That in the future that Google Chrome gets More Features as it updates in the future

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5 stars

"The King Of the Hill just gets better"

June 22, 2012  |  By CNETproductions

 |  Version: Google Chrome 19.0.1084.56

Pros

Fast and minimal interface. It has a really good feature set,and good CSS3, HTML5 and related supports.

Cons

Uses a lot of HDD and RAM

Summary

Google Chrome may not be my desired browser, but no other ones can compete with it. Firefox is slower, less features and worse page supports, Opera with horrible extensions and compatibility, and we know IE needs serious core changes.

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1 stars

"If i can i would put no stars for this crap!"

June 21, 2012  |  By MAC-MAN-JW

 |  Version: Google Chrome 19.0.1084.56

Pros

opens quickley, flash is built in

Cons

Google makes it do i need to say more? Comes with install "Extras" that can even make a new computer run slow. Look at this http://www.googlemonopoly.eu/index.php/2011/04/googles-chrome-browser-is-tracking-and-profiling-you/

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4 stars

"Leading the race"

June 21, 2012  |  By hotstuff4009

 |  Version: Google Chrome 19.0.1084.56

Pros

Fast
Minimalistic design
Good compatibility with add ons

Cons

Setup for themes does not have a designated button on the new tab page.
Does not offer you the choice to start with a new tab or continue from where you left off or open a saved set of tabs.

Summary

Chrome is by far the best browser I have used so far and I've tried nearly all of them. Opera is good in terms of the flexibility it gives the user in terms of design which is something Chrome can improve on. Also, Opera gave a lot of freedom in terms of how I wanted to start my browser again which Chrome does not offer. Chrome is super fast and I really like the integrated search/address bar which gives you a much more streamlined browsing experience. It has not crashed either and is much more compatible with add ons which did not work with the others.

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1 stars

"absolutely sucks !!!!!"

June 20, 2012  |  By jaymans

 |  Version: Google Chrome 19.0.1084.56

Pros

NONE AT ALL

Cons

Keeps crashing and I absolutely can't stand it after a few hours!!!

Summary

so sick of googles crashing firefox crashing pretty much all others not working hada go back to Maxthon3 and it's better then what it use to be love this browsers :) :) ha puts googlechrome and firefox to absolute shame loads 200X times faster then google heps fricken crashing I've yet to have any problems with Maxthon3 it's a keeper :) :) waa which absolutely sucks I can't stand it more then a couple of hours and firefox kent a better browser check that bad boy out you might just LOVE IT :) :) :)!!!!!!!
http://www.maxthon.com/mx3/

Updated on Jun 20, 2012

so sick of googles crashing firefox crashing pretty much all others not working hada go back to Maxthon3 and it's better then what it use to be love this browsers :) :) ha puts googlechrome and firefox to absolute shame loads 200X times faster then google and firefox keeps fricken crashing I've yet to have any problems with Maxthon3 it's a keeper :) :)want a better browser check that bad boy out you might just LOVE IT :) :) :)!!!!!!!
http://www.maxthon.com/mx3/

Updated on Jun 20, 2012

so sick of googles crashing firefox crashing pretty much all others not working hada go back to Maxthon3 and it's better then what it use to be love this browsers :) :) ha puts googlechrome and firefox to absolute shame loads 200X times faster then google and firefox keeps fricken crashing I've yet to have any problems with Maxthon3 it's a keeper :) :)want a better browser check that bad boy out you might just LOVE IT :) :) :)!!!!!!!
http://www.maxthon.com/mx3/

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5 stars

"Fast, safe and user friendly."

June 19, 2012  |  By Reading269

 |  Version: Google Chrome 19.0.1084.56

Pros

just might be the quickest browser on the planet...it probably is..

Cons

just might be the quickest browser on the planet...it probably is..

Summary

just might be the quickest browser on the planet...it probably is..

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1 stars

"Google Chrome is just junk"

June 19, 2012  |  By charliejh

 |  Version: Google Chrome 19.0.1084.56

Pros

It has nice extensions

Cons

Constant crashes!! Unless they figure out what causes all of the crashes I won't use it anymore. I have to rely on IE to surf.

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3 stars

"OK, but I expected better...."

June 17, 2012  |  By wombar

 |  Version: Google Chrome 19.0.1084.56

Pros

Fast.
Easy to use.

Cons

Downloads are a pain.
Does not show all links.
Does not work with Adobe files.
Crashes more often than other browsers.

Summary

Yes Chrome is fast and yes it is easy to use, but, IE and Firefox have improved and the difference Chrome offers does not compensate for the downsides as much as it had. Unlike IE, Chrome does not open files, it requires that they be downloaded, then opened. Which takes up more storage space and bogs down the computer unless you are diligent about cleaning up the files. Last I checked, this was known at Chrome and there were no plans to implement a fix. It appears that Google is trying to force the use of their programs by not allowing Adobe files. When I use Chrome I am constantly having to open my IE to look at files and links, and at this point I am moving back to IE as a primary browser. I like having more control over my computer use than Chrome offers.
Dear Google,
I am a customer. This is my computer. I will use Chrome if it makes using my computer easier to use, not harder.

Regards.
A former Chrome user.

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3 stars

"So far so good."

June 17, 2012  |  By cguchek

 |  Version: Google Chrome 19.0.1084.56

Pros

I like the simplicity of Google Chrome and the way you can choose different apps to appear on your home page. I've only just started using it. So I have a lot more to discover.

Cons

I have a My Excite page that is customized with lists of dates to remember and other info. When I bring up that page on Google Chrome, my customized page does not appear, even after I sign in.

Summary

I hope someone can tell me what the problem is with getting my customized Excite page to appear. I hate to have to use different browsers.

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3 stars

"Getting better. Not quite there yet."

June 16, 2012  |  By pickycustomer

 |  Version: Google Chrome 19.0.1084.56

Pros

See summary.

Cons

See summary.

Summary

Chrome has come a long way. But still not quite there. Chrome does contain flash. Firefox does not. Firefox does have a password manager. Chrome does not. Firefox does have a "menu bar". Chrome does not. I must admit Chrome is looking better. But not quite there yet.

Updated on Jun 16, 2012

Firefox is configurable. Chrome is not. Firefox has a drop-down search bar. Chrome does not. If Chrome would add a menu bar and allow add-ons I would recommend Chrome. Not yet.

Updated on Jun 23, 2012

I stand corrected. Chrome has a ton of add-ons. I wish I could change my rating to 4 1/2 stars. I wish Chrome had a better way to access bookmarks.

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Results 1–10 of 11

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Full Specifications

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What's new in version 19.0.1084.56
Version 19.0.1084.56 contains a new version of Flash Player.
General
Publisher Google
Publisher web site http://www.google.com/
Release Date June 08, 2012
Date Added June 08, 2012
Version 19.0.1084.56
Category
Category Browsers
Subcategory Web Browsers
Operating Systems
Operating Systems Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows
Additional Requirements None
Download Information
File Size Not Available
File Name UNKNOWN
Popularity
Total Downloads 25,508,521
Downloads Last Week 23,876
Pricing
License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free

Previous Versions:

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