Google Chrome 29.0.1547.66 - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Google Chrome

CNET Editors' review

Chrome is the lightweight flagship browser that originated from an open source project by Google called Chromium and Chromium OS. It is now one of the more widely used browsers thanks to a vast ecosystem of extensions and add-ons, a robust Javascript engine, and a rapid-release development cycle that keeps it on the competitive end of the curve.

Installation

Chrome's installation process is both straight-forward and self-sustaining. After downloading the installer, Chrome's installation process will launch with the standard practices of confirming system directories and a few click throughs. Google will also ask for your permission to anonymously collect usage stats, which can be opted out of.

The self sustenance comes from 'channels' ; Once you install the Chrome browser, Google will automatically roll out updates silently in the background and keep your software updated with the latest versions.

Interface

Chrome's overall UI has remained stable since version 1.0: a minimal two row window with tabs resting above the address bar (Omnibox), 3 browser controls (Back, Forward, Stop/Reload), a star-shaped toggle for bookmarking, and settings icon. Users coming from older browsers might have to get used to not having a dedicated File menu layout but we found ourselves getting quickly adjusted.

As you install extensions, active icons will appear to the right of the address bar, but beyond that Google maintains strict restrictions on adding visible add-ons. That means no toolbars or any undesired overlays, which at one point was a widespread standard practice. Despite the limited customiseable options, Chrome is minimalist for a reason, and that results in a clean browsing experience with maximum use of screen estate for websites.

Features and Support

In addition to tabbed browsing, Chrome can be used as simply or as complex as you want, thanks to an impressive number of built-in tools, modes, hotkey functions, and more.

One popular feature is, of course, Incognito mode: Chrome's response to Mozilla's Private Browsing feature. Incognito opens a new window that disables history recording, tracking cookies, and reduces the amount of traceable breadcrumbs from your usage. Contrary to popular belief, it does not mean you can freely browse the web for illegal use as your ISP can still see your traffic activity... so stay out of trouble.

Under the hood, Chrome has some awesome features that make it very developer friendly: hardware acceleration for rendering 3D CSS effects, Google's own NaCl (Native Client) that allows secure execution of C and C++ codes within the browser, and an in house JavaScript engine that improves load times with every release.

Pressing F12 will open a dev console that allows you to view web code and quickly identify elements simply by highlighting the mouse over each line. You can also add your own HTML and CSS codes to render a page with custom styling.

Chrome also allows Google users to sync their accounts, which comes with added benefits like restoring saved bookmarks and extensions in the cloud no matter what device you're on.

Performance

Chrome is fast. Really fast. As of version 27, Chrome is powered by Google's own V8 JavaScript engine that renders pages at speeds that have been setting a standard for modern browsers. In addition, Google has been on the forefront of implementing best practices for HTML5 standards and though it's also currently running the widely used open-source Webkit engine, Google has also announced plans to move to Blink in the near future.

Wrap up

Google has relentlessly set the standard for speed, stability and security and Chrome's numerous version updates, as many as there are, have continued to complement its minimalist friendly design. It's no surprise that its market share continues to rise, especially when combined with its mobile cousin on Android. Regardless of who's faster, whether its user adoption or Chrome's own development team, Google's internet browser is one for the masses: casual user and developer alike.

More than just speed in Chrome:

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All User Reviews
  • All versions:

    3.7 stars

    out of 3,068 votes

    • 5 star: 1190
    • 4 star: 788
    • 3 star: 439
    • 2 star: 248
    • 1 star: 403
  • Current version:

    3.0 stars

    out of 6 votes

    • 5 star: 1
    • 4 star: 2
    • 3 star: 1
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 2
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

Results 1-6 of 6

  • 1.0 stars

    "Just a better way for google to push their advertizers."

    September 19, 2013  |   By imsoco

    Version: Google Chrome 29.0.1547.66

    Pros

    It's new so it has to be better! There is no description on the download page, so it should be good. https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/beta.html

    Cons

    On ebay, I searched a key cutting machine, then clicked on a category to search under, locksmiths. Chrome automatically sent me to a new tab it opened for a locksmith. I thought I had downloaded a virus and contacted ebay immediately. It turns out it was just a new advancement from google. I wonder how much that advertiser had to pay for that link? Their searches are no longer unbiased. Maybe they should change their name to greedle?

    Summary

    Either Greedle goes back to being google, or a new, unbiased, search engine will be needed.

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

    Was this review helpful? (1) (1)

  • 3.0 stars

    "Latest update slowed things considerably"

    September 19, 2013  |   By Johnny_S

    Version: Google Chrome 29.0.1547.66

    Pros

    Still a decent browser but its slowing down

    Cons

    Latest update seems to have bugs. I have experienced some web pages hanging because of Flash ads.

    Summary

    Like many browsers in the past, the more they get updated the more issues they have. This seems to have started with Chrome. It has some Flash bugs with some web sites and it loads much slower then before. Not sure why they moved around stuff on Google search page? But I guess its job security. Anyway, its still a good browser but I see hints of it becoming another bloated mess like Firefox. Please Google, don't end up like Mozilla with Firefox and fix one thing and break another.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Perfect browser"

    September 18, 2013  |   By LexexN

    Version: Google Chrome 29.0.1547.66

    Pros

    It works fast, and the interface is very cute.

    Cons

    I had some problems working with Google Docs.

    Summary

    The best browser ever!

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (0) (1)

  • 4.0 stars

    "The best browser"

    September 8, 2013  |   By ginatl

    Version: Google Chrome 29.0.1547.66

    Pros

    The best/fastest browser on the market

    Cons

    Wish it was able to support better tab switching

    Reply to this review

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  • 4.0 stars

    "I like it fine."

    September 6, 2013  |   By onewayfarer53

    Version: Google Chrome 29.0.1547.66

    Pros

    It is fast

    Cons

    I get frequent flash crashes

    Summary

    The flash crashes are a pain, but not debillatating

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Don't like Google Chrome at all"

    September 4, 2013  |   By LuckyPhillTheLegend

    Version: Google Chrome 29.0.1547.66

    Pros

    I haven't a good word about this program

    Cons

    Don't bother even installing it - Mozilla Firefox is a much better browser

    Reply to this review Read reply (1)

    Was this review helpful? (0) (2)

Results 1-6 of 6

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