The Chrome browser is a good free alternative to Safari for Mac that is very similar in many respects. But it does offer some interesting features such as the incognito window, task manager, site information menu and Flash encapsulation. It is a good idea to have multiple browsers on your Mac and familiarize yourself with the features of each.
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On this episode let’s look at some cool features of the Chrome Browser on Mac.
The Chrome Browser and Safari are very similar. In fact they use the same web kit display engine. But each has its own unique features. So let’s focus on some interesting features of Chrome.
Now with Chrome, just like with Safari and most other apps now on the Mac, you can go to a full screen. You can Enter Full Screen mode or click here and you get the entire thing full screen. But Chrome also has somethings called Presentation Mode which goes a step further. It actually even gets rid of everything at the top of the screen and just have the web content. You can still access the stuff by moving your cursor all the way to the top and you see that it drops down. So kind of similar to full screen in that way but here you get everything here and if you are presenting a web site on the projector to a room of people or you just want to focus on the content and not be bothered by everything else it’s an interesting feature to use.
Most now browsers have privacy functions like you can turn them on and then it is no longer recording your history as you browse different web pages. Chrome has an interesting feature call Incognito Window which basically allows you to keep your current window open and it opens up another window here and stuff here in this window won’t actually record where you are going.
For instance you are shopping for a surprise present for your spouse you can go into Incognito Window and shop in there and then now have to worry about them seeing those sites show up in your history.
Chrome lets you get a lot of information about the websites that you are browsing on. One way it does that is by allowing you to click icon here that you see in the address part. When you do you get a this drop down window here that shows you information say about cookies and site data. Also about the type of connection you have with the site. You can even customize the settings specific to the website.
For instance if you wanted to block or unblock popups from a certain site. Maybe you have a site that you go to where popups are required for some functionality. You can change that just for that one site and the same thing with plugins and location information, notifications. All sorts of different things that a website can do you can customized for a specific site in this menu.
Now have you ever been browsing around the web and accidentally your fingers hit Command Q and there goes everything. It is all gone! You can load up the browser and reload all those pages. But actually in Chrome there is a way to prevent that. You can go to the Chrome menu here and go to Warn Before Quitting. When you select that, you can see it is turned on now, if I were to hit Command Q it will tell me that I have to hold Command Q to quit. So a quick tap won’t do that. I have to Command Q and hold it for a few seconds in order for quit to happen. Then of course I can turn that off if I want as well.
Chrome also has an interesting way of handling Flash. Usually Flash is downloaded as a plugin, stored in a central location in the system, and accessed by all the different browsers. But with Chrome it is actually kind of built in to the browser. It is still a plugin but it’s independent of the other plugins for the other browsers. So the way it handles it is a little bit more secure and a little bit more robust. It makes Chrome very useful as a browser to use Flash in.
So for some people I have noticed that they have gone with Safari with Flash disabled and in Chrome with Flash enabled and whenever they want to view Flash content, like say play one of the games at my site, they use Chrome to do it rather than Safari or another browser.
Now if you are more in the Goggle eco system than the Apple one then Chrome has some advantages for you. You can sign into Chrome, which is basically signing into your Goggle account, go to Preferences here in Crome you can see I can sign in, and I can sync Bookmarks and other things between say an android device and Chrome on my Mac. It also allows you to have multiple users so you can add several users here in Chrome and then switch between them not having to actually change users on your Mac or even leave the browser at all.
So very useful for people using the Goggle eco system which of course is across platforms so if you are using Mac and Windows and Android as well, and even iPhone with the Goggle apps there, you can use your account to go between them and have some data sharing like Bookmarks.
Chrome tries to be very robust by managing different tasks and processes so if web page crashes it doesn’t take the whole browser with it. You can kind of access this by going to window Task Manager and in here it will show you the different processes running inside of Chrome. So for instance you can see plugins that are running, the different pages that are running, things like that. You can access them and actually even kill that process. So kind of like an operating system inside an operating system here with this Task Manager. You also have this little link down here, Stats for Nerds, and it gives you all sorts of detailed information about the different processors and things running inside of Chrome and how much memory they are using and things like that.
So I always advise people to go ahead and install multiple browsers on their Mac especially if you want to explore how each one is different and what features they have. I’ve got Safari and Firefox and Chrome there. Sometimes I’ll randomly use one instead of the other just to explore it and get used to it. Getting Goggle Chrome is pretty easy if you don’t already have it. Just Goggle.com/Chrome and download it from there and it lives on your Mac, perfectly happily, alongside of Safari and any other browser you have installed.
Hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.