Well considering that most of the interweb was buzzing with talk of Google browser today I thought I would just on that bandwagon and throw in my 2 cents worth. Before I start there is one thing to consider when reviewing this software, it's still in Beta which means anything can change before it's released fully.
After repeated attempts to get the browser from one location that appeared to be not starting the download. I finally obtained the correct location and download the setup program. The install and download took around 20 minutes to complete, which wasn't too bad considering that I didn't have Gears installed previously.
The browser prompted me with the option to import favourites/bookmarks, search engines, saved passwords and browsing history from Firefox, which it managed quite nicely and they all seem to be present.
For us more windows based users the first thing I really noticed was that the title bar is there but isn't. It took me a second or two before i remembered that the blue header area is the titlebar.
There aren't many options in the application, I sadly couldn't stop the 'speed dial' type page from loading when I open a new tab, which is kind of annoying.
There isn't functionlity in the Webkit to handle the Zoom functions correctly, so if you attempt it on a page containing images they don't scale with the text. This isn't a massive problem but considering that the lastest Firefox and IE browsers manage this now, i would have expected it to be included. But then this is only beta.
For those that are into tabs, Chrome gives functionality that allows you to close tabs that have been opened from an existing tab, along with a duplicate tab option. Added into this menu are the options 'close all other tabs' and 'close tabs to the right', the functionality of which I really can't see the point of, for now at least.
Find on page is rather nice, it highlights all matching words, displays a count and allows you to next/previous to each one, altering the highlight on each as it goes.
The functionality I used frequently without noticing until a browse i'm using lacks them, are as follows:
- Middle mouse button on tab to close it
- I wish the “undo close tab” was available on the tab context (right-click) menu, sadly it's on the 'speed dial' page, similar to the new IE8 feature.
Well that about wraps up my review for now, I'll keep trying out the browser and see what else is added in the future.
Oh and I nearly forgot to say text-area boxes are expandable!