I’ve been using Mac OS X since February 2009, and I have been very happy with the adoption. Nonetheless, when switching to a different operating system, there’s the inevitable transition period — finding, downloading, trying, and settling in with new applications to get the job done. I was particularly interested in finding a suitable web browser.
On my quest, I went through a number of browsers on the Mac. At first, I used Safari, but I was not won-over. I then dabbled with Opera for a little bit, but I just couldn’t stomach the way it rendered many pages. Having been a Firefox user on Windows, I settled on using Firefox on the Mac for the subsequent 10 months, because it was nearly identical on Mac and Windows.
Having using Google Chrome on Windows (and liking it), I had been anticipating Chrome on Mac for many months. Finally, on December 8, 2009, my new browser had arrived. I switched almost exclusively to Google Chrome (beta) on Mac, from that day forward. Like many other Google offerings, the “beta” product was already feature-rich and very stable. (Well, I did have to wait a while for the Bookmark Manager to be implemented on the Mac version, but eventually, it was.)
There are so many good things I can write about Google Chrome:
- automatic sync of your bookmarks, seamlessly across all your computers running Chrome,
- the Task Manager’s visibility into memory and CPU consumed by each open web page,
- each web page runs as its own process, giving you the ability to kill individual pages (or plugins) that aren’t playing nicely, without affecting the other pages,
- automatic re-opening of previously-open pages, when I re-launch Chrome (after I close it intentionally, or rarely, when it crashes),
- the design ideas that make it a really great browser, performance-wise and security-wise,
- its compatibility with all the web sites I use regularly,
- availability of a large variety of extensions (i.e. plugins),
- cross-platform support: same browsing experience on Mac and Windows.
It’s a very fast, snappy, and responsive browser. And (very important to me), it doesn’t appear to suffer from the same performance problems that plague other web browsers, when they have been running for some time.
Apparently, many other people are also taking notice of Google Chrome. Here’s a recent article that graphs the market share of the most popular web browsers, as of April 2010. It is remarkable that in just 16 months, Google Chrome has gone from a 2% up to a 7% market share.