Google Chrome and Variations: Still Maturing

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 04, 2008

We've made the point before that as good as Google's Chrome browser is, many users will still want to stick with Firefox because of how incredibly useful Firefox extensions are. In fact, at this point, I see the new beta version 3.1 of Firefox as the most useful browser available. I'm still using Chrome, though, and expect big things going forward from it, including a mobile version from Google. For now, though, as developers work on variants of and extensions for Chrome, it's worth being careful.

Chromifox isn't an extension for Chrome, but rather an extension for Firefox. Downloadsquad and others have given it laudatory reviews, for its ability to give Firefox, the cool, icy look of Chrome. It's a skin for Firefox.

However, I found it to have several problems with one of my favorite Firefox extensions: TabMixPlus. When I checked the user reviews for Chromifox, I found others having similar problems. Here's one example:

"Nice Theme, but it has some glitches showing up on the tabbar in Firefox 3.0.3 (left and right side of the darker backgrounded bar) with All-In-One-Sidebar and Tab Mix Plus installed. It has a glitch with "Favoiconize Tab", too."

Chrome itself had quite a few problems in the early beta versions with plug-ins, and ran into problems with playing video files and displaying PDFs properly. The recently released third beta version of Chrome fixes most of these problems, as discussed here.

Chrome is based on an open source core called Chromium, and there are several Chrome-like tweaks of Chromium appearing, as we wrote about here. These too are being updated and going through bug fixes. Here is a link to a portable version of Chrome optimized for USB thumb drives, which has had a major update since we first wrote about it on Friday.

I expect that Chrome and the galaxy of variations and extensions surrounding it will go through much version 1.0 transformation in the coming months. In the meantime, make sure any of these types of applications that you're running are stable and don't slow you down.