I’ve been using Chrome as my default Windows browser since it was in Beta. Today, I finally switched my default browser back to Firefox. This comes after about a week of using both. After continually waiting for a site to open in Chrome, then switching to Firefox and have the same site come up while Chrome was still trying, I just gave up.
When I first started using Chrome, I loved it. It was fast, it renders pages almost as well as Safari does, and it has a lot of nice features. But, as time wore on, Chrome started getting slower and slower.
Sure, I tried emptying the cache, download history and whatnot. That helped at first, but it wouldn’t take too long for Chrome to slow down again. After a while, it didn’t help at all.
So what’s going on? Why is Chrome slowing down? I think it’s simple, really. If you use Chrome, open the options and try to set how many days of browsing history to remember. Go on, I’ll wait.
Can’t find it, can you? There is no setting to tell it how far back to remember. Basically, Chrome remembers your entire browsing history, until you manually delete it. And then, your only options are to delete only the recent history (up to four months), or everything. This is exactly backwards. I’d much rather keep my recent history, and delete everything older than, let’s say, a month.
I went ahead and deleted the entire history, and guess what? Chrome much faster now. But, I find this an unacceptable solution. Having a recent history aids in browsing sites I routinely visit, and quickly finding things I’ve recently looked at. The only choice with Chrome is all or nothing. That’s too bad.
The other problem that I’ve run into is that Chrome is just is not as stable as Firefox. I’ve had it lock up on me too many times. And, although Chrome opens each tab as a separate process, so that one locked tab theoretically won’t effect other open tabs, this doesn’t seem to work so well. What I’ve found is that, if and when a tab does freeze, you can’t actually switch to any of the other tabs. So, while it’s well and great that the processes in the other tabs weren’t effected, it really does me no good if I can’t switch to them, because the tab I’m looking at is frozen and won’t let me close it or switch away from it.
Yes, I know I could kill the tab with the built in process manager, but a) that doesn’t always work, and b) most people probably don’t even know that’s there, or how to even get to it.
Having said all that, I haven’t made up my mind 100% just yet. I’m going to put on Firefox for a while, and see if it still fits. But, the one thing I really love about Chrome is the “Application shortcuts” feature (which is basically a site-specific browser). I’ve used that for my email and for the web-based help desk system we use at work.
Maybe in the end I’ll wind up running two browsers at once, Firefox for general web surfing, and Chrome for the SSBs.