Google Toolbar 5 for FF brings a leaf from Chrome’s book [Browser Tips]
If you had installed Google Toolbar 5 (BETA) for Firefox, you must have noticed a new feature that mimics Google Chrome.
On opening a new tab, you can see the thumbnails of most visited sites, just as you would do in Google Chrome. You also have easy access to ‘Recently Closed Tabs’ and ‘Recent Bookmarks’.
Thumbnails on Firefox
Thumbnails on Google Chrome
Why Google Chrome might be preferred for Firefox?
Firefox is an extremely robust browser, with numerous choices for customization and extensibility. Though Google Chrome’s market share just recently hit 1%, there are certain of its features that stand out among the rest. In this post, I have tried to identify the areas where Chrome holds an upper hand, against Firefox. Note, some of these might be made available in Firefox through extensions and/or add-ons. But I don’t consider those!
1. Seamless Incognito Browsing
One of the greatest strengths of Chrome, is its seamless incognito browsing mode. While in Incognito mode, any pages that an user visits does not make it to the browsing history and none of the details entered are saved for auto-fill. In short, Incognito browsing mode enables private browsing, especially suited for sensitive transactions in public computers.
Firefox has entered private browsing, in its recent release. Here is an early look at Firefox’s private browsing capabilities. Based on the first look, Google’s version of private browsing stands out due to these reasons:
- Auto-fill addresses work in the private mode too, for websites visited in the private mode. This appears to be missing in Firefox 3.1 Beta
- Firefox closes the current browsing session, before opening the Private browsing mode. This is not the case with Chrome, where both private and non-private sessions can co-exist
2. Omni Bar
Firefox users are generally used to the address bar and a search bar at the right-top corner. Chrome has tried to optimize space and made better use of the address bar. Thus, the address bar has evolved into what is known as an omni bar. Here, you can read more about the Google Chrome’s Omni bar.. Omni bar makes re-visiting web sites and searching for keywords across search engines, a breeze. This is another edge that Chrome has over Firefox
3. Smaller Navigation Bar + Collapsible Bookmarks Bar = More Browsing Space
Definitely, the first look at Chrome emphasizes the larger browsing space that it offers. The navigation bar with buttons and the address bar is too lean and the bookmarks bar can be toggled in/out using “Ctrl + B”. Thus Chrome has managed to achieve larger browsing space, without sacrificing any comforts
4. Task Manager to monitor Memory usage
This is a really handy feature that Chrome offers. It enables the user at any time to monitor
- Overall memory used by Chrome
- Memory used by each of the browser tabs
- Memory used by each of the plugins
This is extremely useful when the browser starts eating up more memory and helps the user to identify the culprit!
5. Minimal memory usage
Chrome definitely has an edge over Firefox, when it comes to memory usage. Chrome is very fast to load, consumes lesser memory per tab opened and deliver better overall performance. Though there are instances when Chrome crashes in the middle, time is still available to improve on its performance
6. Tab page with most visited, recently closed and recently bookmarked pages
Whenever a new tab is opened, Chrome shows the list of most visited pages along with the pages that were recently closed and bookmarked. This is handy to visit the web pages, that are often viewed
Chrome has certain areas to improve - especially reliability and customization. Also, I would love to see the “Save and Quit” option with Chrome, to retain the open tabs on next start. Keeping fingers crossed on Chrome extensions and other improvements!!!