Their simple claim is “One box for everything”.

What I write here is really my first impression. I’ve been on Google Chrome for a sum total of 10 minutes. What I wanted to record here is my very, very first impressions and how intuitive I thought it was. I’m a fan of knowing what to do immediately and can’t be bothered clicking help or referring to manuals. I’m sure most of us are the same.

The first thing that impressed me about the Google Chrome browser which I am beta testing is that it actually gives you, upfront, a choice of which search engine to be used as default.  One would have imagined that they would automatically “force” Google and then the user has an option to change it later.

Not so. They ask you up front. Now, that is confident branding. Just how branding should be done in the era of Web 2.0. 

The major change is that the address bar doubles up as a search box. So while you are typing a search, a list of website suggestions appears in the window. If you choose not to take their suggestion, hit “enter” and the regular search results come up. At first, it’s a bit confusing but I’m guessing over a (short) time, you’ll get used to it.

As usual Google has maintained their clean UI, which is great.

Another new feature is the “tab” feature which stores a thumbnail of your most visited sites so you can go there in a jiffy. I’m not sure about this as it seems to work pretty much like the toolbar favourites. But then again, ask me in a week. I’ve been on this for a few minutes and these are really my initial, very raw and very first impressions. By the way, I couldn’t intuitively figure out how to delete a tabbed thumbnail which I don’t want.

There’s this new application tab which I haven’t figured out yet. So, low marks here for intuitiveness (or my intelligence).

The new “dynamic tabs” are pretty much like the old tabs where you click the plus sign to open a new tab, and like usual browers you can move the tab about. You can also move the tab into its own window (though I don’t know why you’d want to do that) and they claim it’s easy to move it back. I couldn’t work it out.

Crash control seems like a good one. Apparently, each tab is considered as a single browser. This means that if one application crashes, it doesn’t close all the other windows. Haven’t seen this at work but if it works, that’s a great feature.

Incognito mode is cool. This allows you to open windows when you don’t want it to appear in your web history. For example, you can use incognito mode if you’re sending flowers to your wife and you don’t want her to know from the history (although you can clear history quite easily). But nonetheless, I thought this was a cool feature.

Anyway, there are other features but try it out yourself.

You can download Google Chrome beta here (for Windows Vista/XP).

Let me know what you think.