I’ve been pretty unhappy with Firefox’s terrible performance, stability, and general badness for a while now but I never bothered to try anything else because, well, old habits die hard. After almost half a decade of Phoenix/Firebird/Firefox anything else was just too much a bother. But since I started using a netbook I figured I’d finally take the plunge and give Google Chrome a try since I suspected Firefox on a netbook would be roughly 1345 times worse than Firefox on a Thinkpad.
The good news is that Chrome seriously rocks. It’s fast, secure, stable, and the super minimalistic design (all the decorations and toolbars that infest other browsers that plague other browsers have been ruthlessly eliminated) make it essentially the perfect browser. The bad news — well, there is no bad news. Chrome just rocks.
Chrome doesn’t have anywhere near as many extensions as Firefox but I’ve never been one to load up my browser with extensions anyways. And there’s still plenty of good extensions available for Chrome and more coming all the time. Here’s the ones I’ve found so far that I like:
- Robot Theme, inspired by Android: A nifty theme for those who like robots and/or the color green. (I imagine this is most people.)
- FreshStart – Cross Browser Session Manager: Much more powerful and easier to use than the traditional bookmark system. A session is a collection of pages that can easily be opened and closed as a group.
- Tab Menu: Chrome doesn’t have anything as powerful as Tab Mix Plus. There’s no way to get real mult-line tabs in Chrome — which makes the tab bar useless once you open a good number of tabs. Fortunately Tab Menu comes to the rescue and provides the next best thing: a quick, searchable drop-down menu of all the open tabs.
- Google Mail Checker Plus: A wonderful plugin that provides fast, complete access to your Gmail box. In addition to basic mail notification you can actually preview the latest messages in your inbox as well as compose a new mail. Would be nice if it also allowed you to search your inbox and order Chinese food.
- IE Tab: Unbelievably there are still a few important sites that don’t work right in anything but IE. This makes the IE Tab extension a very useful necessary evil.
- AdBlock: The most popular extension for Firefox is now also the most popular extension for Chrome. It does what it says on the box and does it pretty well.
- Forecastfox Weather: Does one thing and does it well.