I've just switched to Google Chrome. I saw it in active use on my cousin R---'s laptop the other evening, and thought, wow, that's quick! And legible too. So this morning, when a not-infrequent update battle took place between Windows, F-Secure and Firefox, with nobody winning, I decided to simplify my life and say goodbye to Firefox.
This was no light decision: I still basically liked Firefox, and had used it as my PC browser since 2005 without much to complain about, except that as it matured it added more and more features that I didn't want. All these add-ons and plug-ins and other things made updates ever more tedious, because they ceased to be instant, and I sometimes had to endure delays while Firefox brushed me aside, took over, and updated itself.
A particular annoyance was its own security features, which competed with the comprehensive ones already provided by Windows and F-Secure. F-Secure was needed for the PC, tablet and phone, and I could buy a well-priced package that protected all three, even though that involved two versions (Windows and Android) of the same product. Incidentally, with F-Secure installed on the PC, I did not need the extra level of security provided by Windows, but there was no harm in having an alternative at hand, just in case. I didn't need two alternatives, however.
Chrome is a leaner web browser, with a cleaner-looking interface. It is of course designed to complement Google Mail and other Google products, and by using it for all my Internet-linked devices I can get the bookmarks on them all perfectly synchronised. It's also nice to have a common house style for the browser.
No doubt I will discover a couple of drawbacks. Chrome cannot be lightweight without a few compromises. Its inability to hide remembered passwords was in the news a few days back, but that's not in fact news, since Chrome has from its start in 2008 deliberately kept security very basic, defending this decision by pointing out that there are plenty of third-party security packages available that will do password protection and parental controls, and so forth. Personally, I never ask a browser to store a password where absolute secrecy matters.
I'm noticing a welcome change just typing this post out on Blogger - the default font is larger, and I'm not getting irritating warnings all the time that the text 'hasn't been saved'. These are little improvements, but welcome, and if Chrome works like a proper PC browser on the tablet and phone as well, instead of in the somewhat limited way previous browsers have, then I shall be smiling broadly. Anything that simplifies and speeds up blogging while I'm away in the caravan is going to add pleasure to my life!
Well, I've discovered one nice surprise already. Immediately after posting the above, I tackled my next item for the day, which was making a backup of all my blog posts for the first half of August. This involved selecting the text (and any pictures) straight off the web page, and pasting it into a Word document, in this case two documents called '2013 08 postings 1' and '2013 08 postings 2'. To my amazement, the pasted text was exactly as it appeared in the web page, light orange background and all, and not some messed-around version in a different font. Even more amazing, the footprint was so small, despite the usual liberal use of photos in my posts.
That made the backup much faster to do. It suggests that only four documents will be needed for the whole of August. Not much work there, then! For comparison, I needed ten Word documents to accommodate the backup for the whole of July, when I was copying off the web pages provided by Firefox. Clearly Chrome somehow presents web pages with a lot less underlying formatting.