I’m excited about Google Chrome. It’s in Google’s best interests to make the Internet ever more usable, and when they do it through pure open source it helps everybody with similar interests (even Google’s competitors). But I’m also pleased because it has three specific features that I’ve wanted a lot lately as I’ve been living more of my computing life online:
- Minimal “chrome”. That is, almost all of the web browser is given over to what’s inside the page I’m using, not to browser functions. I’ve stripped Firefox’s chrome down as much as I could, but Google Chrome is even better than that.
- Tear-away tabs. I can grab a tab and drag it outside of my browser, and have it stand on its own. I love tabbed browsing in general, but sometimes it gets in the way. Just as I often want to have several command shells open and visible at the same time, sometimes I want browser pages set up the same way.
- Application windows. You can turn a tab into an “application” that can be started from a menu or shortcut like any other application, and which has even less browser elements around the page. I’ve already done this for my Google Mail, Calendar, and Docs pages, and my blog administration page.