Beta Sniper: Firefox vs. Chrome (Feature for Feature Review)

Posted: September 5, 2008 in Beta Sniper
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Before going into a feature for feature review of Chrome and Firefox I’d just like to point out something. At this point Chrome is at a very early Beta. It is supposed to be buggy and underperforming than the others. I shall point out where each browser does well. In the future whoever builds on their own strengths while copying good stuff from everyone else will be the final winner.

Feature against Feature Review:

  • Startup Time and Speed: This is what got me interested in Chrome. Even in my Core 2 Duo, 1 GB RAM mahcine FF takes a second or two to fire up. But Chrome was almost instantaneous. I open and close my browser quite a few times over the day, those two seconds matter to me. Period. Chrome also performed pretty well in processing Java based apps like Gmail. FF 0 Chrome 1
  • Memory Management: Conceptually Chrome is a clear winner with seprate tab processing and stoppage of memory leaks. However, it still doesn’t play well with some of the plugins, especially Flash. So a visit to Youtube and other flash based websites are quite disastrous. This has been an improvement area for FF for too long, particularly on the issue of memory leaks. I’m just sad that Google got the concept right on this early beta. (I’m a FF fanboy) If you use non-flash websites and open a few tabs, Chrome takes much less memory. Closing the tabs also frees up more memory in Chrome than FF. FF 0 Chrome 2
  • Look and Feel: Chromes tab-at-at-the-top, omnibox, translucent windows, lack of a statusbar works for me. I like the small animations in moving tabs, starting downloads,  closing and opening windows, reattaching and reorganizing tabs. They just make a mundane task a little bit bearable. I also like the option to use web apps through stand alone shortcuts. FF 0 Chrome 3
  • Javascript and Other Support: Yes chrome was faster, but it still does not play too well with a lot of Google’s own websites. And in some Ajax based sites, particularly Facebook, it couldn’t process some codes properly and they showed up beside text boxes and other places. For now at least, FF 2 Chrome 3 (This is worth 2 points to me on any day)
  • Plugins and Customizability: Chrome doesn’t even come close to FF. A lot of Chrome and Operas features can be mimicked through plugins. This advantage alone is worth three points to FF. However, I should point out that Google plans to bring plugin support to Chrome and if only a few major FF plugins make it to Chrome then the whole game would change. FF 5 Chrome 3
  • Omnibox vs. Awesome Bar: I’d say I like both. Neither is a clear winner yet. I like the search engine integration in chrome. But FF is better at giving suggestions from history and bookmarks. Somehow I felt Omnibox was a bit confusing, but that maybe just from lack of familiarity. But all in all it’s a draw. FF 5 Chrome 3

To summarize, Chrome is not ready for mainstream yet. It excels in unchartered territories, but lacks in the common ground. I can guess that Chrome will learn to play a lot better and will sort out a lot of the kinks. I am amazed that Chrome works with so many websites at such an early stage. If they listen to the feature requests and bug reports (which I think they will), Chrome has the potential to be at the top. However, I’ll be sticking to Firefox for the days to come. Having said that, I’m not going to uninstall chrome either. Because when Chrome hits 1.0

I just might switch.

  1. drabir says:

    Facebook Comments

    Kazi Rashed Abdallah wrote
    at 3:19pm
    No doubt Chrome is faster than FF when u open or close the browser. .. but it is not so in case of browsing.. it takes almost 25% more time to start loading a page…. .. but chrome is better in completing loading the page..that means you will view the page earlier if you use FF but not with it’s 100% contents…
    overall it is a bit slower than FF when browsing time is concerned.. (i have tested with 10 sites)
    In addition.. i couldn’t open windows live hotmail in told me to update my browser.. hotmail or chrome ..either of the two is back dated. 🙂
    however,I think it is not the proper time to compare each other as chrome is still in beta stage.. i’m sure its gonna be much much better when google will launch its complete release.

  2. helluin says:

    I’ve just started using google chrome, and even tho it’s not fair to compare a beta version with a full working firefox, there are some addons in firefox I’ve just become too used to. Adblock being my first concern, I had forgotten how browsing with all that trash wondering about a webpage felt like. Stumble upon being close second.

    Even tho it’s java engine is supposed to be faster, I think it still needs a bit of perfectioning to do, since some pages don’t show properly. Speed wise, Chrome is smaller and uses the resources it can manage better. Hopefully more will join the list in future releases.

    For now I’ll stick to FF for my regular browsing and use chrome for e-mail and some search features, just to keep and eye, and get used to it.


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