Man, those guys at Google piss me off.
Just when I think they might be getting a little stale, they go and announce a new web browser. And they get Scott McCloud, the brilliant author of Understanding Comics, to announce it in plain language and clear illustration in an online comic.
And, just to really chap my hide as an entrepreneurial has-been, it looks like Google Chrome will be a major step forward in browser tech.
You can read the comic to learn more, but here’s the gist:
- Google Chrome will run using tabs, like any current browser. But the tabs will be the primary feature in the application, up at the top, so the average user will be more likely to understand how tabbed browsing works. [Chris pointed out I did a terrible job of explaining this, so here’s more:] Tabs are moved to the top layer of the browser, so that every tab has its own address bar, own toolbar, etc. So you can use each tab as a totally separate browser window.
The browser will apparently include other nifty stuff: Private browsing, a leaner interface and an integrated look at recently-viewed sites.
A few things about Google Chrome that scare me:
- Automatic search suggestions in the address bar. That sounds like a one-way route to the funny farm for me. It’ll drive me insane within a few minutes.
- Something about the way Google describes their security API, and its ability to deliver a list of ‘bad’ sites to everyone’s browser, sounds like we’re swapping one security problem for another.
- If this browser is as good as advertised, Google really will take over the world.
Overall, though, Google Chrome sounds like a major shift in the way browsers work: From HTML interpreters to a real application platform or, dare I say, operating system?
Don’t worry, I’m still going to wait-and-see. I’m still a cynic. But it’s hard not to get a little jazzed about it. If Republicans can get excited about Sarah Palin, I can get excited about Google Chrome.
Update: I took Google Chrome for a test drive today.