Interestingly, as Firefox seems to become more and more like bloatware, people are making the switch to Chrome. Even on OS X, where Safari (also built on webkit) has held very close to it’s roots (like Symbian on Nokia) – it FEELS like an old browser, therefore, many people have jumped ship for the Chrome.
Why? Because it’s newer, faster, and it has it’s own Apps. Chrome is more and more like an operating system. Recently, I found that Chrome had it’s own task manager where you can even see what system resources are being used by what.
Google is so smart. They build Chrome through Chromium – there must be some regulatory, anti-antitrust, or tax benefit to doing it this way. I imagine that being open-source somehow helps them to accomplish this project. Perhaps it is as simple as getting community development support and enthusiasm from the world of *nixers.
Either way, what’s great about Chrome/Chromium’s opensourceness is that there are 5 really unique and useful versions of Chrome(ium).
- Rockmelt is probably the coolest browser actually WOWser I’ve ever used. Awesome apps for social media message checking/posting right from the sidebar. Super easy and super slick.
- The Torch Browser (Windows only) has “built-in media downloading and sharing features” which range from torrent downloading (more and more risky) and video downloading (flash conversion, etc…).
- “Iron” (SRWare Iron) Browser is a Chromium spin-off that “primarily aims to eliminate usage tracking and other privacy-compromising functionality that the Google Chrome browser includes.” These features include built-in ad-blocking and also the complete lack of any “calling home” that is built into Chrome(ium) by default. Their site is terrible to navigate and the OS X/*nix versions are kinda hidden. Look closely.
- Comodo Dragon Browser (Windows only) is developed by Comodo.com – an internat security company that mostly sells SSL certificates and firewall/antivirus protection. The unique factor on this browser is that it will visually identify the strength (security) of a site’s SSL certificate. I’ve definitely noticed that more browsers are incorporating the different standards of SSL into the browser visuals, but this one is really making it blatant. It might seem like a ploy to make you buy more certified SSL certs from Comodo, but still a cool browser. Server identity is important!
- Coolnovo (terrible name) is an awesome browser that supports IE tab and has built-in mouse gestures and other goodies. IE tab allows you to open a tab in your browser using the IE engine, so your “Internet Explorer only” site can run in your Chrome-based browser.
Rockmelt really does seem to be the most developed, but all the children of Chrome(ium) have some interesting and important differences.