I’d decided the night before, in fact. I was, sadly, really quite excited about the prospect of turning over a new leaf or, to update the phrase, starting a new session. Doing a fresh install of my life and switching from Firefox to Chrome.
I like Chrome. It works, it’s already imported all my passwords and bookmarks for me and it’s nicely laid out, so I might as well use it as my default browser. It’ll be quite painless.
Turned out it was also quite pointless…
I’ve since realised just how few original bits Chrome actually has. The first thing that WOWED me when I fired it up for the first time on launch day was its bookmarks toolbar. What a brilliant idea! All your bookmarks, right there! Available with a single click! This will shave seconds off every browsing task! How can no one have thought of this before?
Only that’s been a Firefox feature for years. Firefox thought of it before. I’d just turned off the bookmarks toolbar and forgotten it ever existed. Fortunately, I found this fact out in private before embarrassing myself on the internet by mentioning Chrome’s amazing new bookmark system that will revolutionise browsing overnight.
Secondly, when exploring Chrome on launch day, I noticed you could highlight some text and right click on it, bringing up the option to “Search Google for…” the highlighted words. Another fantastic Google Chrome innovation!
Only I just checked. That’s part of Firefox too. Again, thankfully, I worked this out myself in private before posting about it on the internet like it’s some amazing invention that Google should to be praised for.
THE STABLE HAS BOLTED
The only thing left to draw me Chrome-wards is the screen layout and all the “real estate” freed up by the way Chrome elevates its tabs into the Bit Of The Screen Which Thou Shalt Not Use. In Firefox, having the bookmarks toolbar and all the tabs in view makes the thing look a mess and a bit too busy. That’s one small victory for the Chrome side of my brain.
So, late afternoon (on work time, sorry everyone) I decided to see if you could rearrange Firefox to make look a bit like Chrome. And you pretty much can – I now have the Firefox bookmark bar up alongside the menu options, keeping the screen large while also giving me instant bookmark access.
It’s a little messier than the Chrome way, but copies the functionality perfectly. So, at approximately 3.30pm yesterday afternoon, I officially switched back to Firefox as primary browser of choice, after, ironically, fiddling with it to make it look as much like Chrome as possible.
Sorry if this has been a rather boring update that goes into way too much detail about what my browser looks like and how it’s laid out, but I’d imagine it’s a journey a lot of people are going through right now. Searching. Looking for reasons to bother switching to Chrome, wondering if there’s some awesome, secret stuff behind it that makes changing make sense.
I have no answers or reasons for you. All Google’s effort has done is left me appreciating Firefox even more, and extra-extra confused about why Google has gone to so much effort to put out a product so incredibly similar to its rivals.
So thanks very much, Google. You’ve made me bring my browsing habits bang up to date. I’ll remember to click on a few of your adverts some time as a thank you.