There was a time, back in the day, when a new browser version would have Mac and Windows users salivating over all the new features. Google thinks different.
Though only a few years old, Google’s Chrome browser tops the charts in version numbers, but remains at the bottom of the barrel in the new features category.
Do Version Numbers Matter?
Chrome is a good browser for Mac and Windows PC users. It’s fast, stable, easy to use, handles Flash OK, and it’s free. You could say the same about every other browser.
Firefox is just touching version 4. Apple’s Safari is barely at version 5.
The oldest living popular web browser, Opera, is at version 11.
And Microsoft’s much loathed Internet Explorer is barely 9.
So, how does Google differentiate itself among a crowded, feature-laden field of free browsers? More features? Nope. Chrome gets the highest version number at 13.
In exchange for that ridiculous version number do we get a boatload of new features, a list of new and cool things Chrome can do to set it apart from other browsers? Nope.
Bug number 173, circa 2008, finally received some engineering love. Print preview. Except for Mac chrome users who already have that ability.
Google touts the new option to save any web page as a PDF file with the Print to PDF button. Except for Mac users who already have that ability pretty much everywhere.
Dont’ misunderstand my criticism.
I like Google Chrome on my Mac. It’s fast, stable, useful, and handles Flash video and animation better than the Flash Preference Pane plugin for Safari and Firefox.
The gotcha, besides the crazy version numberings scheme, is Chrome’s overall user interface, which appears to be designed by a committee of cubicle dwellers from a cubicle farm without access to sunlight; a veritable designer’s nightmare. Making a homely interface seems to be the way Google rolls.
Google Chrome is at version 13 already. That’s a convenient number because it seems that Chrome has the same number of features.