Google Chrome: a worthy alternative browser


In a recent post on tech tips, I listed Firefox as my current browser of choice. I have also been using Google Chrome for the last 6 months or so and am pretty impressed with it. I do find Firefox slow to load and I find that recent Firefox updates still haven’t resolved the RAM issues. On the other hand, Chrome loads quickly and is pretty responsive.

For the last few days, I’ve been finding Google Reader and Google Mail really slow in Firefox, probably as a result of some disk maintenance I did over the weekend. Probably my fault and I should be able to track the problem with time. However, I’ve found that both Google Reader and Google Mail are still really responsive in Chrome – perhaps not surprisingly – they’re all from the same stable so should work well together. So that got me thinking. I wondered just what else I needed Chrome to be able to do so it might be a real alternative to Firefox. Well, really important to me is a Delicious plug-in like Delicious Bookmarks in Firefox so I can bookmark webpages straight to Delicious from Chrome. I also need LastPass integration with Chrome so I can quickly recall passwords and login to websites. I really like LastPass for password management and have blogged about this before.

Well it turns out that although Chrome doesn’t have plug-ins for these features yet, it does have bookmarklets which give the Delicious and LastPass integration I need. I found these two websites which show how to get the functionality I need in Chrome:

How to make a Delicious ‘Plug-in’ for Chrome

Use LastPass in Chrome

Using Chrome, I’ve also solved another problem that I had had with Google Reader that I had assumed was a fault within Reader but turned out to be due to Firefox. I have over 2000 tags and folders in Google Reader. In Firefox, when I went into Settings in Reader and selected Folders and Tags and scrolled down to the end, the listing ended around the ubuntu tag, i.e. way short of the actual end of the list of tags and folders. However, doing the same thing with Chrome as the browser, my complete list of tags and folders was displayed allowing housekeeping like deleting tags, etc right to the end of the complete list which I couldn’t do in Firefox.

How have you got Chrome up to speed? Drop a comment below.

Edit (13 August 2009): Thanks to Scotian whose comment below solved the slow Firefox problem.  It turns out that the latest Skype extension update for Firefox  slows down Google Reader and Google Mail to a crawl. Just uninstalled the extension and everything is fine again in Firefox.

4 Responses

  1. Phil Says:

    I too have blogged about Firefox being my preferred browser, and likewise I am REALLY fed-up with the Firefox RAM issues; it just stalls my PC too often. So, I too have switched to Chrome. The one thing I really missed was LastPass. I checked the LastPass site recently and they’re not yet ready with a plugin for Chrome. Good to come across your tip, will give it a try straight away. BTW Chrome BETA 3+ is even faster and seems really stable.

  2. Scotian Says:

    I noticed too that google reader is slower than a few weeks ago on one my PC with firefox. But my other PC with firefox doesn’t have this issue… I’m having trouble finding out why.

  3. Scotian Says:

    I just found out the reason for the issue mentionned in my previous comment. During my last Skype update, a Skype extension to Firefox has been installed – without asking – that turns firefox buggy. Once this extension removed, Firefox works fine.

    Thank you, skype, for playing the adware game and having people throwing BS at firefox for nothing !

  4. techandlife Says:

    Thanks for the comments. Scotian, the Skype extension update turned out to be the cause of my Firefox problems as well. Now that I recall, I did update the Skype extension a few days ago and that must have been the start of the problems. Just uninstalled it and everything is fine again. I’ll edit the post accordingly. Thanks again.

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