I’ve always wanted to be a fan of Google Chrome, but every time I give it a try—it disappoints me, yet again!
I recently upgraded my iMac to OS X Lion 10.7, and while upgrading the operating system I thought I’d “upgrade” my browser experience and move to Google Chrome.
If your like me, you have a half dozen or so friends that are all trying to get you to use Google Chrome. They talk of it’s lightening fast load times; it’s auto updates for real-time security and bug fixes; incredible developer tools; the ability to search in the address bar; its clean compact design… and the list goes on.
Some of these things I agree with, and that is why I’ve tried on numerous occasions to switch to Google Chrome as my primary browser. The problem is, Google Chrome (for Mac) acts like it’s still in Beta! It has problems, a lot of problems.
Most recently I’ve come across the “Aw, Snap!” error message. It pops up constantly and I’ve tried all the suggested fixes (Google actually has a page for Aw, Snap Solutions which that alone let’s me know I’m not the only one with this problem—not to mention page after page in the Help Forums).
Thinking back, how many times has Firefox or Safari ever told you that it could not load a webpage at all, not even in part?
I can answer that—the only time I have ever seen Firefox not load a page at all is when my internet connection was down.
Google’s most standard reply to this problem is that your profile is corrupt. Well okay then, address the problem that allows the profile to go corrupt on so many machines. Just saying, when Firefox rarely ever has a problem with your profile it still loads web pages. It might lose the bookmarks or saved passwords but it can still surf the web!
One of the basic things I’m looking for in a browser is an application that will load a website and just work like it should. Firefox is not perfect but it has a great ability to handle errors on the page and it is compatible with every site that I use on a regular basis. In nearly all instances a website will appear and function as expected in Firefox. Chrome on the other hand has some issues in this area.
Aside from the “Aw, Snap!” error message every time you turn around, Google Chrome has some major compatibility issues with several of the sites and services that I use online. Payment Gateways, CMS Admins, news sites, sports sites… the list goes on of instances where I’ve been unable to perform a site task as intended or the website in question would not display properly. Overall compatibility with Google Chrome has not impressed me.
Let me say that this particular problem isn’t just a Google Chrome problem—Safari has it’s fare share of font management issues as well, but one thing I have found to be true is that Firefox handles fonts better than it’s competitors. If you are a graphic designer than you will undoubtedly have many fonts installed on your system. You will have variations of fonts, multiple font sets and a font management software of some kind installed on your Mac.
Google Chromes inability to handle font related issues has made it less effective for me and many other designers working with font management software to manage large font libraries. The true root of this problem is a known documented problem with Chromium’s inability to work well with non-OS related font management software. This isn’t something that can be easily remedied for most.
Lack of Extensions
Becoming less of an issue with every passing moment, the shear lack of available plug-ins for Chrome has made it difficult for many to make the switch. I have found this less of a factor for myself, but I still wanted to list it as an area of disappointment with Google Chrome. I really expected extension development to progress much more quickly than it has.
As much as I would like to, I will not be setting Google Chrome as my default browser. After a week of using the application for all of my online needs, it has come up short—a complete fail. Perhaps after several more of those infamous auto-updates Google will finally get it right and I’ll be able to join the ranks of the Google Chrome faithful. Until then, it will be either Firefox or Safari that has the title of primary browser on this Mac.
Note: Some other browsers not mentioned in this article that you may want to take a quick look ate are: Cruz, RockMelt, Sunrise, Camino and Opera.