Chrome Not Ready for Prime Time – Yet

Google Chrome is getting a lot of well-deserved good press for it’s blazing speed. For that reason I use it occasionally, but Firefox remains my core browser. Why? Three reasons.

1. Adblock Plus
2. Xmarks
3. Diigo

I recently used Chrome for a day but returned to Firefox. Here’s what happened.

Using the Chrome Channel Changer I switched to the development channel. That’s the only release that currently has extensions enabled by default.

1. Adsweep or Adblock are the two ad blocking extensions I found, but they were flaky. Both stopped working after a short time of browsing. Ads that had been blocked were appearing again when I returned to the page. I’d forgotten how unpleasant it is to browse without an ad blocker.

2. I installed the alpha Xmarks extension for Chrome but syncing created duplicates of all my bookmarks. Even after I removed them in Firefox, they kept reappearing after the next sync. Fortunately Xmarks lets you restore old bookmark configurations.

3. Diigo doesn’t have an extension, but the widget worked well enough. However, one of the main reasons I switched from Delicious to Diigo for bookmarking was that the Diigo firefox extension lets you use a keyboard shortcut for bookmarking a page. The widget doesn’t, making bookmarking a chore.

With two out of three essential extensions not working and the third making a formerly simple task tedious, Chrome’s speed lost out to features.

Don’t get me wrong, it was great to browse faster for few hours and when Chrome’s extension support (along with the extensions) mature, I’ll try it out again. Until then, I’m sticking with Firefox. Browsing is a little slower, RAM usage is heavier, but everything works.

Fast is trumped by functionality.


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  1. A big one for me that makes Chrome a no-go is lack of mouse gestures.

    Comment by Cameron on December 7, 2009 @ 8:36 pm
  2. That’s interesting. I used mouse gestures all the time in Opera and loved them. When I switched to Firefox I forgot all about them. I’m a keyboard man now and I’ve never even tried the mouse gesture extensions in Firefox.

    Comment by Dan on December 7, 2009 @ 10:34 pm
  3. With Diigo do you need Xmarks?

    Comment by KanyonKris on December 8, 2009 @ 12:41 pm
  4. Good question. I use Firefox bookmarks for custom searches, shortcuts and bookmarklets. Without Xmarks it would be a real pain to keep them all in sync.

    Comment by Dan on December 8, 2009 @ 12:55 pm
  5. I’ve also been giving Chrome a whirl (for Mac) and finding holes here and there, so I still keep Firefox in the background, but have been irked by Firefox’s slowness to start up, shut down, etc.

    Comment by DaveH on December 10, 2009 @ 7:08 pm
  6. It may not be too long before I try the switch again. There are over 300 extensions available now and more being released. Once they mature, it may be time to switch.

    Comment by Dan on December 10, 2009 @ 11:02 pm
  7. An update: I’m flowing into Chrome. That is to say, I’ve made it my default browser, selected it to open at login, rather than Firefox, and would switch over altogether except that I miss an ad blocker on certain sites such as Facebook, and video doesn’t seem to work on certain sites, including CBS News – 60 Minutes, or Move software on ESPN360. But if those things came along tomorrow, I’d be all in…. Well, I still have Safari and Firefox on the computer, but I’d rarely if ever use them if Chrome were fully up to snuff.

    Comment by DaveH on December 14, 2009 @ 7:06 pm
  8. P.S. Is there any way I could get an e-mail/alert when you/others commented on my posts on here, other than just coming back to check? Just wondering … :)

    Comment by DaveH on December 14, 2009 @ 7:08 pm
  9. AdThwart, the most popular ad blocker for Chrome is still hit or miss (more miss than hit actually). That needs to be fixed before they’ll start making inroads into the Firefox market share.

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    Comment by Dan on December 14, 2009 @ 8:40 pm
  10. Chrome for Mac now has working bookmark manager, and ad blocker and other extensions, so I imagine Windows has that and more (safe assumption?); and “60 Minutes” video that didn’t work in Chrome before, works now, so I may be “all in” on Chrome now, as it were

    Comment by DaveH on February 14, 2010 @ 8:10 pm
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