I use Safari, Chrome, and Firefox simultaneously. But I’m not sure I’m doing it right. Here’s why and how.
Chrome · Never really used it much before I joined Google. But it’s what’s logged into the mothership and where a lot of work happens. Via the magic of pinned tabs, gmail is on command-1, calendar on command-2, docs on command-3, Google Voice on command-4, and @Androiddev on command-5. Anything I click on in one of those apps opens a new Chrome tab.
I like that Chrome’s fast, and I really like that it’s robust. There doesn’t seem to be any one web page that can bring it to its knees, and when something is grinding, you can look in the management console, find out what’s wrong, and clean up. The process-per-tab design seems to be a winner. I even leave Flash turned on in Chrome.
By the way, I use the Type-ahead-find extension to get /-to-search.
Of course, a large part of my Chrome time is spent in Google apps like gmail and calendar, and we’re always dogfooding unreleased versions, so my impressions of the browser may not line up with non-Googler experience.
Chrome’s aesthetic, in-page, is just fine. My eyes are not wildly pleased by the general look of the three-strip top: tabs, tools, and bookmarks, each bulging with teeny little blurb-of-color icons. On the other hand, as tools they get out of the way and take me where I want.
I use Android themes both for Chrome and gmail, so the general effect is perhaps overly green.
Safari · It’s still my default browser. For years it was the fastest and prettiest route from a Mac to the Web. And for years the only browser that knew about color profiles.
These days, on the pages’ part of the pages, all three browsers look and work about the same, and if there are differences in color rendering, they’re too small for me to care about.
I like Safari just fine, in particular the soft monochrome peace of its headers. I don’t like the way it shuffles tabs out of sight once you’ve built a few up, but my main gripe is that it feels a bit fragile. It is the most likely of my three browsers to lock up or inexplicably start gobbling 100% of my CPU cycles. This is surprising since I run it with ClickToFlash on.
Command-number does bookmarks rather than tabs, so command-1 is blog comments, command-2 is goo.gl, command-3 is my satellite-TV listings, and so on.
I haven’t figured out how to make Safari do /-search though.
But in recent months, I’ve kept a Firefox around to run my personal textuality.com gmail in — there was some weird bug nobody else seemed to have where, when I was working on an email, Safari would lose the cursor and leave me editing blind. Thus, links showing up in my mail get opened up in Firefox. I find that I actually kind of like it; it’s neither faster nor slicker than the others, but feels kind of comfy.
Take-Aways · I’m not claiming that the way I wrangle browsers is the best, or even good. But I’ve noticed that when I write up how I’m using this or that aspect of the computer, I almost always get told a better way to do something or other. Thus I learn; and judging by the occasional thank-yous, maybe teach a bit too.