New age Web Browsers
Take a look at the top and bottom edges of your screen. You are looking at your Internet browser. A browser is the interface between you and the Internet. It is the ‘window’ that makes sense of, and allows you to, look out over the vast wilderness otherwise known as the Worldwide Web. Believe it or not it has a major influence on how the Internet is viewed and created.
For many years the most commonly used browser was Microsoft Internet Explorer but this browser has become less and less popular with the advent of other, better browsers. With the world takeover that is Google more and more people are moving over to Google Chrome. Google Chrome now holds 31.8 percent of the combined desktop and mobile internet market. Another, recently more popular, browser is Mozilla Firefox, who is second most popular on the list. (http://www.thetoptens.com/best-web-browsers/). A few others include Netscape Navigator, Opera, and that mainstay of Apple Mac users, Safari.
I can understand Internet Explorers failure over the past couple of years as it really is a terrible browser. Regardless of whether I write from the perspective of a web designer or a web user, the story is the same. As a web user it is slow, resource hungry and security intensive (to the point of paranoia). And as a web designer it’s even more frustrating. Very often I’ll design and code a website, test it in all the other browsers and smile smugly as it displays beautifully in all of them. I will then weep quietly in my corner as my “perfect” site loads looking like a dog’s dinner.
But we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Google Chrome is here and in a big way. Internet giant Google began the Chromium Projects sometime in 2007 releasing their browser Google Chrome in 2008. Chrome quickly changed the game. It was an open source project which means that the source code of the application in this case Google Chrome is freely available. Thereby, opening the doors for clever coders the world over to contribute to the browser with improvements or adjustments. The result is a more adaptive intelligent and flexible product. This new kid on the block has rapidly become a main contender for the sought after “king of the browsers” title. Quick, lightweight, secure, and intuitive this no frills, yet fully inclusive little browser has gained a cult following.
There are several reasons why it is the number one browser in the world:
- Perhaps Chrome’s biggest draw is its multiprocess architecture. This means protects you from having a bad Web page or application take your browser down. No more crashing browsers because of dodgy pop-ups.
- Chrome’s interface is streamlined and no doubt beautiful. Your screen will consist of the page you are looking at and not be cluttered with huge logos and pointless toolbars. Chrome’s designers say that they wanted people to forget they were even using a browser, and it comes pretty close to achieving that goal.
- Chrome comes with a default dynamic home page. As you open the browser it remembers the nine most visited pages and displays them for you to choose from. You can also fully customise your home page, or pages and set them to whatever you choose.
- You have more control over your tabs. You can grab a tab and drag it out to become its own window. And there is even a feature that will remember all the tabs you had open on your last session and open them when you start your browser again.
- Chromes unique feature is its Omnibox which allows you to either enter a URL or a search term. Chrome will take you to the right page every time without any questions. The Omnibox is clever too as it learns what you like and what you search for the most and gives suggestions when you start typing (Just as Google search does).
- Chrome has a sneaky feature called Incognito. This is a private browsing option which allows you to surf the net without any of the information being logged or saved on your computer. The Incognito window is isolated from the rest of your browsing experience, so you can have your private window open alongside your regular windows, and each will operate independently.
With the insane proliferation of Internet devices (1000 of them in 1984 to 10 000 000 of them in 2008) and mobile platforms such as the iPad, iPhone, Galaxy and others it is becoming increasingly important to present the Internet in a hassle free and slick manner.
See you online.