I’ve been a die hard Firefox fan ever since I switched from using Internet Explorer the day I finally got fed up. Since then I have come to love the speed, stability and extendability of Firefox. Me and Firefox, we’ve been best buds for a long time and until recently I didn’t think anything could get between us. Google has power we have yet to understand.
You see, since Chrome came out, it still had miles to go to split me away from Firefox. Sure it had its perks such as the different way it handled memory, its minimalistic feel, its simple way of handling downloads, etc. If I think hard enough I’m sure I could think of more.
I have actually begun to use Chrome for some things while still using Firefox as my main browser. Will I ever stop using Firefox? We’ll see because Chrome is still improving more and more and may even pull ahead (in my book).
Recently Chrome threw a few balls into the internet browser court that may end up being a game changer. There are two areas that Chrome has drastically improved over Firefox that cannot be ignored. Two activities, that have always annoyed me about Firefox, are now being done better by Chrome. They are themes and extensions. Let’s take a look at a Google Chrome vs. Firefox comparison. You be the judge. Which browser does it better in these two areas?
Google Chrome Is Classy In The Way It Handles Themes
When Chrome first came out, themes were not originally available. This was one of the reasons I didn’t see myself switching from Firefox. Even though it didn’t really change the usability, I simply liked making my browser my own. However Chrome now does themes, in my opinion, as good as Firefox.
If you have ever installed a theme for Firefox, you probably noticed that Firefox asked you to restart the browser for the changes to take effect. This was the case until they came out with Personas. Now Personas were not fully-fledged themes but only skins for the browser. In other words, themes could modify shapes and designs of things like buttons, whereas Personas only change a few colors and background graphics. Personally, I’m happy with that. I like the buttons where they are. Getting back to the point, Personas do not require a browser restart, which is what I love about them.
Chrome now does themes too. They have it set up so that a restart is not required. Like I said, I love that. Who wants to stop what they are doing and wait for the browser, with all the sites you’re working on, to reboot? I know I don’t. All things being fair, what Google calls a theme is basically the same as Firefox’s Personas, being they are only a few color and graphical changes. They’re basically skins. If you are happy with the simplicity of Personas, as I am, then you’ll probably like Chrome’s themes.
Let’s see how simple it is to install a theme in Google Chrome:
- Click the handy wrench icon in the upper right of the window and click the “Options” button,
- Click the “Get Themes” link (or skip these steps by going directly to this link),
- This brings you to Google Chrome’s theme directory. From here you can choose to either click a link to preview the theme or just click an “Apply theme” button to automatically change your theme. Theme files have the extension “CRX” so whenever you download one of those, Chrome knows what to do and the change is automatically made.
Very cool and very classy. Lately I’ve been digging the simple design of the Puk-Puk theme. How about you?
Google Chrome Handles Extensions Like A Million Bucks
One of the biggest complaints about Chrome since the time of its release has been its lack of extendability compared to browsers like Firefox. To be honest, this has been the largest game changer for me. There have been a lot of things about Chrome I have loved, but because of my beloved Firefox extensions, there was no changing for me. Now that Chrome is bringing on the extensions (check out), only the future can tell!
Listen up, Firefox, because Chrome has a way of handling extensions that you can really learn some tips from. Firefox, just like the themes, makes you reboot the whole browser to activate an extension. Boo! Chrome comes to the rescue only requiring a few clicks. The process is simple:
- Head over to the Google Chrome extensions page and find an extension you would like. Click the “Install” button :
- Read the warning and click the “Continue” button :
- Read the next warning and click the “Install” button :
- And that’s it. The icon will immediately show to the right of the address bar:
See how easy it is? In my opinion Firefox must do something similar to get a hand in the extension handling fight.
The point of this article is not to tell you that you ought to switch from one browser to another, nor is it to tell you one is better than the other. The point is to show you that the war is far from over. Sometimes it seems that as soon as we set one browser aside because it doesn’t do this or that, that browser comes out with some kind of improvement changing the dynamics of everything.
Now it’s time for your opinions. Do you like how Google Chrome is currently handling themes and extensions? At this point in the war, which browser is doing better in the fight?