Sunday, February 15, 2009

Firefox vs. Chrome – IMHO

Last week I got pretty excited about the news of the Feedly update.  Feedly is a Firefox plugin that works with your feeds in Google Reader to make browsing the web a richer experience.  The main change in Feedly that caught my interest was the Feedly mini.  The mini does two things that I have wanted for a long time.  The first is that it automates the discovery of Friendfeed conversations for any article you re viewing.  This is cool because a lot of good discussion has moved from a blog articles comments into FriendFeed and Twitter.  They also allow you to easily add an article to the starred list in Google Reader.  This one is super awesome, because I want to use that starred list as my reading list for the web.

I have been using Chrome as my primary browser for the last few months.  Feedly only works with Firefox.  Obviously, I had to install Firefox to try out this new Feedly.  I am back to using Chrome again yesterday and today, and I have finally figured out why.

Chrome does not offer extensions.  Chrome is just a dead simple, get things done browser.  The browser seems quite fast to me, and I rarely encounter problems with crashes (something that I regularly have with a fully loaded FF3).  Chrome just lets me focus on browsing, and I use a set of about 5 bookmarklets to interact with my most common services.  Basically, I find that the extensions don’t really add anything to my browsing experience.  They actually detract from it with all of their glitz and bling.  I spend more time configuring, updating and working in the confines of those extensions.  Even the new Feedly, which I think is amazingly awesome, is just a distraction from actually getting the stuff I want to get done online done.

I also find that the awesome bar in Firefox has nothing on the Chrome combined search/address bar.  I love that I can start typing words, not urls, and find what I want from the same bar.  It combines my history, my bookmarks, and the entire web in a way that Firefox does not.  I recorded a couple of videos that demonstrate what I mean.  This morning I wanted to go to the Worthington Games website.  When I am using Chrome I just type Worthington Games into the address/search bar and it finds what I need.  When I type the same thing into FF I need to browse to Google before I can get there.  It just makes browsing more friendly.  I think it also reduces the need to bookmark as much stuff.  Chrome just makes things easy to find with natural language searches. 

Chrome Example

Firefox Example

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