Thursday, March 15, 2012

Chrome - The Browser of Surfing Champions

"I don't always browse the web, but when I do, I prefer Google Chrome"...  In case you haven't installed it yet, the Chrome browser is quite powerful.  Admittedly, I was not an early adopter of Chrome; but once I got on it, I was hooked.

Having been online since before the days of BBS's and 56K modems, I've ridden the wave of browsers from the revolutionary Mosaic browser, to the free academic Netscape browser, Microsoft's ubiquitous, yet "monopolistic" Internet Explorer, the open source Mozilla Firefox and now Google Chrome.
Graph demonstrating that each new browser rapidly takes a major market share and slow decline. (graph predates Chrome's launch)

Chrome is quite a different browser; in that it's actually a mini-operating system.  It's even package on a stand-alone, low cost laptop called a Chromebook which are even rented on Virgin America flights.  It's literally lightning fast in loading websites and has rock-solid stability.

Concerned about security?  Internet Explorer has so many exploits that even on a fresh install of Windows XP, you can literally loose control of your computer by simply going to a single malicious website without clicking on a thing.  Google, on the other hand,  has put their money on it; recently they upped the ante by offering $1Million in cash to hackers that can find vulnerabilities in Chrome, I'm nearly tempted to try; but given the academic intellect put into this product, I think my chances are better in entering a casino.

Quick points about Chrome.

Incognito (Ctrl-Shift-N) instantly makes you anonymous.
  • Omnibox (aka Keyword/URL): Just type any words in the URL/address bar and it will search Google.  They really don't want you to have to think about URLs.
  • Incognito Mode: a browser session that is free & clear of any past cookies, cache or history.  Once you close it, the browser session is deleted.  This is useful when you want to visit sites anonymously or just with different login credential; i.e. multiple sign-ons to
  • Tabbed Browser: Modern browsers support this; some people are still not familiar with using tabs.  Get used to it and take advantage of the below hotkeys to browse like a champ (see list of useful hotkeys below).
  • Chrome Store: True to being an OS, there's a whole Chrome app store for web applications published to work with Chrome. Many of these are just basic websites, but make it easier to open and use versus remembering a bookmark.
  • No Fuss Software: Upgrades are done transparently; furthermore they are releasing improvements quite frequently; allowing users to get the most out of new internet advances like HTML5 features.

Tab Hotkeys

Alt - DHighlights the address bar so you can enter a URL or keyword
Ctrl - NNew tab
Ctrl - Shift - NRestore last closed tab (very useful if you want to bring back the page you accidentally closed)
Ctrl - Shift - TOpen Incognito browser window
Ctrl - WClose tab
Ctrl - 1Switch to first tab
Ctrl - [2, 3... 8]Switch to second, third, nth tab.
Ctrl - 9Switch to last tab
Ctrl - PgUp / Ctrl - PgDnSwitch to next or previous tab.
Ctrl + / Ctrl -Enlarge Font or Reduce font size
Ctrl 0Set font size back to normal.

Common Hotkeys
Ctrl - JOpen downloads
Ctrl - HOpen history
Ctrl - Shift - EscClears history, cookies dialog box.

Advanced/Developer Hotkeys

Shift - EscTask manager; very useful to see the resources used per tab, like CPU, RAM Memory and network I/O.  You can then kill any task or tab.  This is a clear benefit of the Chrome OS.
Ctrl - UView HTML source code
Ctrl - Shift - IDeveloper tools; useful to see CSS style codes and the page hierarchy structure.
Ctrl - Shift - JJavascript console; useful to debug JS errors on your website.


NickieSaucedo said...

I wonder if it's more secure to do online shopping on chrome? I'm thinking maybe so... thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

Alt (underscore) are the hotkeys

All (Ctrl-A)
Shift + move arrow keystrokes

Ctrl + move == move by word
(Ctrl) Home, End == end / beggining

Alt-D (Search/address bar)
Ctrl-T (new tab)
Ctrl-Shift-T re-opens the last closed tab (or Window)
Ctrl-W - close tab
Alt-F4 close window

Ctrl - PageUp/Down scroll thru tabs
Ctrl -# goes to that tab
Ctrl -N (new window)

Ctrl-Shift-N (new Incog window)

Alt (hold) -Tab (switch between applications)
Alt (hold)+Shift -Tab (switch reverse between applications)

Windows Key-D (desktop)
Windows Key-R (run dialog box)

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