Well, duh, Google made a browser: Chrome. Apparently, based on the same browser engine as Firefox although poking around I see striking similarities to Safari. (Correction: It’s based on the same Open Source engine as Safari but they give a lot of credit to Firefox)
What I understand from reading the Introductory Comic (very cool!) is that the HTML renderer is borrowed but the platform itself is written from scratch.
In a lot of ways, it’s very much “oh, another browser”. Ok, they merged the Search and Address bars together, and they avoided some of the annoying facets of IE/Firefox/Safari in terms of the search box.
It is very Google – very minimalistic, very clean. I disliked Firefox for its persuit of the technically excellent over the practically innovative, but I disliked Firefox 3 over its voyage into the psychadellic. Customizable? Yeah, I want to spend time customizing my web browser – not.
Unfortunately, when I first tried to run Chrome, everything went a little pear-shaped. I reset my DSL router and modem and it seems to have been my connection at fault.
There are undoubtedly numerous easter eggs, as google have such a penchant from them; the comic mentions a few, such as the “Sad Tab” when it crashes (ok, if it’s got a lantern hung on it like that it’s not quite an easter egg).
There are nice little touches like the minimalist status bar which is basically like a tool-tip that only uses as much space as it needs and sits over where the horizontal scroll bar would be if it was present:
While the options pages are slim, simple and as laymanesque as possible, stuff like “Stats for Nerds” is easily accessible without being intrusive
Overall I find the layout pleasing, it has that crisp, paper-like google quality. All my regular pages worked without problems, I didn’t see any obvious features missing.
Definitely worth a try.