We all have those pivotal moments in our life. Those times when you realize you need to say goodbye to the old and embrace the new. This week it was time to end a long standing relationship and make a big decision to move on to something better. This week I changed my default browser from Firefox to Chrome.
Now you may be thinking, “This is no big deal”, but understand that my relationship with Firefox/Mozilla goes back more than a decade – back to when it was just Netscape Navigator. Sure we had some good times over the years, but the new opportunities offered by Chrome finally persuaded me to close one chapter of my life and begin a new one. What was it that convinced me? Here are some reasons…
Browser Sync – When logged in with your Google account, you can set up Chome to sync so that all your bookmarks, themes, apps, saved passwords, and various settings are shared automatically between computers. Just start syncing in your Chrome preferences on all your computers and link it to your Google account. I’ve become accustomed to my browser remembering username or e-mail when I start to type it on a form. With Sync, a username I type in on one computer, is remembered on my other one. I like that.
Apps – The latest version of Chrome allows you to add “apps” to your browser. Your apps appear when you open a new window or tab. Some apps are free, others you pay for. If you’ve used the Mac App Store or purchased apps from iTunes, the experience is similar. Some apps will even run offline. I’ve got to think that this is something that Chrome needs in order to make the Google Chromebook a viable netbook alternative.
Free Angry Birds – Okay, I’ve got to admit that even with these cool features there had to be something significant to woo me away from Firefox and get me to try and explore Chrome. A free Angry Birds app that would only run in the Chrome browser was the perfect bait to lure me in.
While those were the big three factors that convinced me to change my default, there are a few other things I’ve discovered I like about Chrome since I’ve made the switch…
- Speed – Chrome just seems to run faster and load pages quicker than Firefox. ( I hear it’s significantly faster than Internet Explorer too.)
- Compact Toolbar – The toolbars and tabs have been compacted to maximize screen real estate for viewing web pages.
- Improved Browser Extensions – One thing I love about Firefox is all my browser extensions. Diigo, AdBlock Plus, and several more of my favorite extensions now work in Chrome.
NOTE: Now I haven’t stopped using Firefox completely. I have not deleted it from my computer. In fact I still need it to work with my Moodle 2 pages. It’s just no longer my #1 browser choice.