ux review of chrome for iOS

Google services have been a long time coming for iOS users. While most people's immediate response to that is to say "of course, they have android" I think it's weird for google to neglect 400 million customers of their services just because they want to promote another mobile platform. Android already has a majority market share after all.

Oddly enough, Chrome became the first really native iOS app by google. Odd because Apple is severely restricting apps that compete with iOS native functionality, and the browser could be said to be more important for iOS than the actual phone app...

Chrome launched with a slew of welcome mobile optimizations for a browser that apple has since copied to their own app, safari. Syncing not only accounts, but history, tabs and even sessions didn't exist on iOS before chrome. But for all it's glory, such as less browser chrome and actually useful tabs, Chrome also has a number of weaknesses.

Tab refresh

When I switch between tabs in chrome, something goes terribly wrong. For all the fast loading and fast tab switching goes straight out the window as I am forced to wait for a page refresh. This might sound like it makes sense as first, most pages need to be refreshed before I can see any new content after all? But I often switch between apps, while reading, looking something up or for any other reason. The several clicks and wait that safari makes me do to access my other tab is bad enough. Forcing me to wait for a full refresh, and especially on a mobile network, just breaks the experience. Why would I keep waiting? F this. I'll be on Facebook.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels the same way, but I haven't gotten any word from google on whether they are working on this or not.

The dark UI

Google has always had a light, cheerful, design aesthetic. It might not fit everyone but its google. With recent android generations they've stepped back from this to offer a darkes, softer, design. Chrome fits perfectly into this. Except of course, that its on iOS where nothing is dark.

Not only does the app look like android rather than google, but it doesn't fit into its environment at all. It's I'd just a plain bad design decision. With the reasons why painfully obvious.

Summery

Just a few days ago Google released new, native, apps for gmail and YouTube on iOS. Both of these apps show a lot of promise, especially for design. So I'm hopeful that google will get around to fixing these issues with chrome soon.

Though I still wonder why google feels its services are worth more to customers on android? Int google all about the services? Why deny iOS users google now? I'm a google ecosystem user since 2007, nothing so far has made me change my mind. I'm also an apple device user since years back. Apple allows me to use google services, why won't google?

What is HTML5? A short explanation

Everyone seems to know everything about HTML5. But there is just so much information out there I thought I'd make a shorthand for everyone not already up to speed. HTML5 is a common term for the upgrade of all the basic web technologies. That tech that let's you build web sites (HTML, CSS and JS to be exact).

HTML5 logo

HTML5 can be used live today, but it won't become really wide spread until Internet Explorer 9 takes over the leading browser marketshare from IE 8. All modern browsers, including IE 9, handle almost everything that makes HTML5 so cool.

HTML5 was created to take the internet to the next level. Basically from Information sites to Functional Services more like apps. Basically people don't just want information these days but they want simple functions that give them access to the rightinformation. This is what apps do; give users the function and the bite sized chunk of information needed to use that function. In the same easy to use interface.

There is a huge difference between this paradigm and the earlier paradigm of the web. The change won't be very fast but it will come. The reason is that Mobile Web use is on the rise and the old paradigm of information heavy sites is simply really bad for that use. Already HTML5 is the norm for Mobile Devices, PCs are actually lagging behind.

I've listed some of my favorite examples of HTML5 apps below, please be aware that you'll need Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or at least IE 9 to use them:

http://www.html5rocks.com/

http://www.chromeexperiments.com/

http://www.apple.com/html5/

http://mugtug.com/sketchpad/

http://www.web3mantra.com/2011/04/20/best-html5-applications/

http://data-arts.appspot.com/globe-search

 

Google releasing Chrome OS for netbooks

My first thought: "Google OS, great! Go google! Wait, haven't googles products got steadily less and less stable and good as the company has expanded? oh well..." Then I realize this is another OS on an already shattered market (PC/laptop). Of course it's based upon Linux but it doesn't support a lot of heavy features. Basically it's made to boot an Internet browser and nothing else.  This is, of course, Google's stratagem and has been from the start. And I see their point, web apps are steadily taking over functions I used desktop apps for earlier.

But there is a long way to go, web apps are just not responsive enough for smaller tasks, I use notepad, and Things. Programs that are snappy. I haven't seen anything web based that comes close to them in responsiveness.

Maybe HTML 5 can speed things along.

Anyone having problems with chrome?

I'm having some problems with google chrome:

  • Some javascript web applications freeze for a second or two now and again.
  • CSS color updates (for backgrounds) are really slow in some web applications (www.rememberthemilk.com)
  • I can't use blogger, it tells me that javascript in my browser has been disabled... LoL! :)

Anyone else having problems? Sure this is a beta, but with regards to their launch information that stated that they had better QA then any other browser application it's really weird that these simple problems should trickle through. Or are they extremely advanced problems with simple symptoms?