Image via CrunchBaseGoogle Chrome was released about a month ago. A lot has been said about the new browser, with mixed reviews all around. I had a review of my own, that was more of an explanation of what Google looked to be planning. So, what happened after the initial hype? Well, I tried using Chrome as my main browser for about two weeks. As a browser, Chrome is OK. The real problem is that I need my plugins. Until Chrome gets a plugin model similar to FireFox, it will just continue to be an also-ran.
However, one item that I did like was the application shortcut. I have been using shortcuts for GMail, Google Reader and Remember The Milk (RTM). Because I do not want to use Chrome as my main browser, Google Reader as a shortcut became a problem. I open a large number of feed items from Reader for further review in a separate tab. If that tab is not FireFox, then I am missing my plugins, and I hate not having my plugins. Having GMail as a separate shortcut has been a fairly nice experience. I do miss my RTM for GMail extension a little, but that is offset by RTM having its own shortcut. The lack of browser “chrome” does give GMail a very nice feel to it, just not quite a desktop application yet.
Image of RTMThe big winner in the Chrome game was Remember The Milk. Even though the main site describes Chrome as an unsupported browser, I am not having any problems. I absolutely adore RTM as a shortcut. Having RTM as a separate application is fantastic, and having a Google Gears enabled application within Chrome is really fast. Even if I decide to drop Chrome from my usage, the RTM shortcut will be sticking around.
What About My Readers?
Obviously, my readers have a heavy technical bias. This would be more slanted than most technical news sites as well because they have a larger audience and will be getting views from a larger demographic than this blog. GigaOm posted their readers usage of browsers yesterday and found that Chrome only had 5.5% of the browser share. The other major browsers had an interesting spread as well, with FireFox at 43%, Internet Explorer at 37.9%, and Safari at 8.9%. My readers are somewhat different than theirs.
As you can see, Chrome has almost the same percentage as Safari. When I had initially checked Chrome usage one week after launch, it only had about 10% of usage, so this number looks fairly stable. I am curious whether the initial adoption rate will change any time soon. Given what technology people are like, I would think that the addition of requested features like plugins will drive a lot of adoption, as well as making Chrome natively available on Macs and Linux boxes. So, for now we must wait and see what Google has up its’ sleeve.