March 04, 2010, 1:57 PM — Google's Chrome browser keeps improving; Beta 2's release in February certainly advanced the case for Chrome as a worthy competitor to Safari, Firefox, and the rest of the pack.
I wanted to give Chrome a fair shake, so I set it as my default Web browser and removed Safari from my Dock completely for a week. And while I found a lot to like, Chrome in its current state exhibits enough frustrations that I've had to hand the crown (and Dock space) back to Safari. Make no mistake, Chrome includes some excellent features--features whose absence in Safari now causes me intense mental anguish. But for today, I've come to bury Chrome, not to praise it.
Here are seven reasons that Chrome lost its short-lived reign as my default browser:
1. Tabbing taboo.Now, I'm not referring to the browser window tabs themselves; others have written far more extensively on that topic than I could ever hope to. Rather, I'm complaining about how the tab key behaves in Chrome. I like to use the tab key to hop between text input fields on web pages; I can tab right to a login form or a search box--in Safari. Chrome, however, tabs between both text fields and links on the page. (In Safari, it's a preference, and holding down Option as you tab temporarily reverses your preferred behavior. Ah, sweet, delicious compromise.)
I've held down every modifier-key I can come up with, and Chrome merely smirks. It's impossible to switch away from its default tab behavior, and on pages rife with links where I want to get straight to form fields, this default behavior just doesn't work. And here's the real knife-twist: There appears to be a bug on some pages, so that when you tab to different links on the page, the links themselves don't get highlighted, making it a chore to figure out just what's selected at any given time.
2. Location, location, location bar. I love the single bar that Chrome dual-purposes both for entering URLs and initiating Web searches, and for years I've installed Safari hacks that aim to recreate the same experience.