Google Chrome is one of the top three Web browsers in the world, with a minimalist design, lots of extensions, and interoperability between other devices. In March 2015, it was the top browser in the U.S., as measured by the federal government's Digital Analytics Program. While not every Web browser will be the right fit for everyone, if you're thinking of switching from your current browser, here are a few reasons why you might want to give Chrome a try.
Support for Multiple Platforms
Google Chrome is available on more platforms than any other Web browser, including:
- Microsoft Windows PCs and tablets
- Apple OS X computers
- Apple iOS iPads and iPhones
- Android tablets and smartphones
- The Chrome operating system on Chromebooks
If you sign in to the Google Chrome Web browser on each of your devices, your history, bookmarks and passwords can all be shared between them. For example, if you visited a page and logged in using your tablet, you can sign in again on your PC without entering your credentials again. Additionally, if you can't remember a page you visited on one device, it will be in your Chrome history on any other device you happen to be using.
You can use the same Google account to log in to Chrome that you use for your Gmail account, YouTube, Google Docs and any other Google product you use.
Because Google uses two-step verification, it offers a great deal of security. With two-step verification, you can't log in to Chrome with your Google account unless you enter a PIN that is texted to your cell phone.
At its default settings, Google Chrome will automatically update whenever a new version becomes available. This ensures that your browser will always be protected with the latest security updates.
Chrome downloads the updates automatically and installs them the next time you close and reopen the browser. If you tend to leave your Web browser open without turning off your computer for several days at a time, a color-coded Menu icon tells you that an update is waiting to be installed.
- After two days, the menu turns green.
- After four days, the menu turns orange.
- After seven days, the menu turns red.
Closing and opening Chrome will install the update, or you can click the Menu, select Update Google Chrome and then click Relaunch.
At the time of publication, Google Chrome is the only major Web browser that offers voice search. If you don't like typing, this alone may be a good reason to switch. When you go to Google.com in Chrome, a microphone icon appears beside the Search field. Click this icon or say "Okay, Google" and you can say what you're looking for into the microphone and Google will automatically start searching for websites using those words.
Comparing Chrome to Other Browsers
A 2015 Benchmark
According to a July 2015 comparison by LaptopMag, Google Chrome surpassed Microsoft Edge and Firefox in three of five comparisons.
Firefox was judged superior in its layout and ease of use, primarily due to its sharing function and how it can be customized. Edge was rated best for performance and overall loading pages faster, although Chrome did come in second.
The history of Web browsers is one of constant innovation. Web browsers are usually updated several times each year, and major updates often level the playing field. For example, at one time Chrome version 36 was the only major browser that included built-in support for playing Flash videos or reading PDFs. At the time of publication, both Edge on Windows 10 and Firefox can open PDFs without a plugin, too. While Edge does have a built-in Flash player, Firefox requires a plugin.