David Artiss

Why I still don't like Chrome


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Last year I made an attempt to move from Firefox to Chrome – as much as I love Firefox, Chrome is a lot quicker in use. However, after living with Chrome for a few days, I’ve moved back to Firefox again.

There was always the issue over searching. I love having a little search box in the corner so that I can do a quick Wikipedia or IMDB lookup. The Chrome equivalent is not as convenient.

However, that would never be make-or-break.

I like the fact that Chrome, when synchronising bookmarks, now looks up the favicons and populates them (it doesn’t synchronise them as Xmarks does, though).

No, what finished off Chrome for me is the total lack of control or visibility with synchronising. Chrome has synchronisation of bookmarks, etc, built in. I therefore imported them from Firefox on one PC to allow it to transfer over to my other installations Sadly, after a number of days it had only made a vague attempt to synchronise a few bookmarks and not much else. All Google offer is a line on your profile settings page to show how many it’s synchronising. No control. Nothing else. Why weren’t my bookmarks moving across? I’ll never know. The thing is, on each machine I could have imported them from Firefox. BUT how can I trust Chrome to correctly then keep them in sync with each other after that? Simply put, I can’t.

I also don’t like the fact that Chrome has no way of displaying separators in bookmark lists.

Maybe I’ll try again later next year. Until then, Firefox remains my browser of choice.


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3 Comments

  1. I’ve made a couple of abortive attempts to switch to Chrome, largely driven by the performance and memory issues which plagued earlier versions of Firefox. The lack of a search box did annoy me a little, but like you, I didn’t find it a deal breaker. For me, the biggest issues were:

    – Lack of easy switching between languages in spell check (I regularly swap between six languages)
    – Inflexible approach to bookmarks toolbar (I find the favicons a huge waste of space)
    – Inability to switch proxy independently of system settings (for use behind firewalls)

    I do like a lot of features of Chrome, and love the speed, but those issues coupled with the much improved Firefox 10 have stopped me contemplating another attempt at trying it.

  2. I am the opposite, I loved Firefox and am still waiting for it to become stable again with javascript as I found it to hang far to often with the likes of Jquery. I really miss Firebug and have yet to switch back from Chrome to the latest update of 9.0.1 of Fireffox. At the moment I just don’t have time on the project I am working on to have Firefox flake out on me. i do like the Developers tools in Chrome but it just lacks a couple of little tools such as ‘copy css path’ for those times when you get brain freeze and miss part of the hierarchy.

    Firefox lost a lot of users through their various unstable releases, users I don’t think they will regain.

  3. The main deal-breaker for me are that Ctrl-Tab still doesn’t return to the previously selected tab, as opposed to the next tab on the tab bar. It really doesn’t make sense for Ctrl-Tab not to work like Alt-Tab. TabMixPlus for FireFox allows users to set this up properly.

    The other deal-breaker is the lack of a master password. Google’s attitude is that if you’re relying on a master password, your desktop environment must be unsafe, and that’s ultimately the security hole. While there’s some truth to that, I don’t have much control over my desktop environment at work—we’re forced to use Windows, our session passwords are synced to the proxy passwords, and we need to include our proxy passwords in various config files! Although FireFox password safes are apparently not that well encrypted, having a FireFox-style master password with a short timeout at least adds one extra layer of security to my passwords for varoius web sites. By contrast, I don’t save passwords in Chrome at all.

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