Saturday, January 31, 2009

Chrome Vs Firefox : What's different in these browsers?

Google Chrome - a browser that took up 1% of the browser market share within hours of being launched - so clearly speaks volumes about the Google Brand!

Firefox - if you look at it in Bollywood's terms - I would say it is like a star who was made without his / her father being in the Bollywood industry - purely because of its merit, and useful features.

Google Chrome had one feature that really looked good initially - On opening a new tab, it would give a visual display of your most popularly visited sites, so you could just click on that site directly. However, two things that I can say to this are,

1. This feature isn't particularly sought after for normal users, because typing in the address is any day faster.

2. With Google's new toolbar, Firefox automatically gets this feature.

One other feature about Google Chrome that is different is the address bar. Here, if you, for example, start typing in "rediff", it automatically fills in the rest in the address bar itself, so you can directly press enter. In Firefox, the best result of what you have typed comes only in the options below in the drop down that comes up, so you have to press the down arrow key atleast once to make the match. This is extremely comfortable for users. Of course, it is a question of getting used to.

One more difference between Firefox and Chrome is in terms of RAM usage. While Firefox has just one full component of RAM Usage (use Control + Shift + Escape to check this), Chrome divides each tab that is opened in the same browser into different components of RAM Usage. To put an example, if Firefox has 3 tabs open, each taking 30000 K, then the RAM usage would show 90000 K for Firefox. However, in case of Chrome, you would see 3 different lines for processes, each showing 30000 K. This structure has a clear advantage. In case one of your Firefox tab crashes, you have to shut down the entire Firefox system. However, in case a Google Chrome crashes, you only need to close that particular tab. This way your other work can continue without restarting the browser.

The restore session feature : This is automatically enabled in Firefox. However, in Chrome, to enable the restore session feature, you need to go to Settings - Options, and then in the Basics Tab, you need to select "Restore the pages that were open last" under startup. However, the important thing to note here is that the sessions that are restored in Firefox also login the user automatically into any online session he / she might have been part of. For example, if you are logged in to Gmail when you close the browser, Firefox will more often that not log you back in to your mail when you restore the browser. However, in case of Google Chrome, all sessions are expired, and you need to relogin to activate the sessions again. While this definitely makes Chrome more secure, probably for personal computers the Firefox feature of restoring sessions is better.

Finally, the screen size - Chrome doesn't let you install toolbars, hence the entire space at the top is empty, making one feel that there is more browser space. Which is true in a sense, though the same can be achieved in Firefox too, by disabling a whole lot of toolbars.

Overall, I would say both these browsers are quite useful, and in most cases can be used alternatively. And of course, both are miles better than Internet Explorer, which has degraded since IE 7 was launched. Not only did they have that security breach issue, the IE browser is also pathetically slow. In fact, Gmail actually advertises Firefox and Chrome as a Top Link if you login to Gmail through Internet Explorer.


Balaji Kumar S said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown!!! said...

Hi Atul,
I didnt knew about the parallel processing part, I always used to wonder my chrome never used to crash unlike firefox... and the restore part in firefox, I dont think they login automatically.
very informative post :)

Frisco said...

Good post, But have you checked this new browser from Mozilla Foundation - Flock - the social networking browser! You d forget both ff and chrome once u start using flock!

Anonymous said...

Seeing these kind of posts reminds me of just how technology truly is something we cannot live without in this day and age, and I am 99% certain that we have passed the point of no return in our relationship with technology.

I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as the price of memory drops, the possibility of transferring our memories onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could encounter in my lifetime.

(Posted on Nintendo DS running [url=]R4i[/url] DS KwZa)