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Google Chrome as default browser on Mac
Google Chrome is a fast and scalable browser - But it needs some tweaks!

Google Chrome as default browser on Mac
Published: 29. august 2012 (20:48)
Updated: 6. september 2012 (20:48)


Google Chrome as default browser on Mac Technology While I love Safari and the swift integration with iOS and OSX I DO love the speed and simplicity in Google Chrome. However, a few things frustrates me about Chrome and the following is my findings in working around these... Continue to read more...


While Safari and Firefox are great browsers Google's Chrome has a few advantages in speed and security. Also, Chrome is updated much faster which means that good ideas developed by its users has a significantly shorter time-to-market.

But a few annoyances has found its way to my desktop after setting Google Chrome as my default browser on OSX.

The Download Shelf
Simply put... I hate it! I'm very keen on having a clean desktop and have my windows arranged in the size I decide on (not how the applications themselves decide)... For this purpose I use a nifty 3rd party app called Stay from Cordless Dog. But when you download something using Chrome the download shelf expand the overall window size and leaves it there - even though the download itself has been completed...

To overcome this issue I went to the omnibar in Chrome and wrote:
chrome:flags
Looking for the option to 'Enable new Download UI' and setting it to 'Enable'. This means that the shelf is no longer visible and my browser window will remain the same height and width as predefined by me. I can still access my download history in a new tab using the menubar 'Window' > 'Downloads'.

Opening links from external sources
One of the most annoying things is, however, that when I open a link from e.g. an e-mail (and Chrome is NOT running) it first opens my predefined start page (in my personal case it's a blank page) and THEN opens a new tab with the link that I've chosen to open. Why...? Why can't it detect that the browser is not running and therefore just open the link I want to see (and have actively chosen to see?)... In the past Firefox did the same but after a massive user response Mozilla (the creators of Firefox) changed this odd behavior. I still need a resolution to this issue so if you have any insights or extensions that makes this possible please share in the comments below!

Synchronizing settings
Chrome already has a neet sync feature builtin. But I want more than that. So I linked my Chrome user folder with my Dropbox folder and hence every time I open the browser on one of my Macs the setting and history has travelled with me. Lovely. I did so by adding a symlink from the original location of the user folder ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default to my Dropbox account using Terminal.app and the ln -s command. Remember to do this on all the machines that you wish to adopt this feature.

iOS integration
Though I can download and install Google Chrome for my iPad and iPhone for free via the Apple App Store I still can't set Chrome as my default browser in iOS (at least without Jailbreaking... which is a totally different topic). This means that I wont be able to use all the neat features that Chrome so elegantly serve through its various services. Any insights on this matter would be great as well. Drop a line or two in the comments below.

All in all Chrome is a great browser and its speed and security is great. But I just need a "little more" before I'm all the way...

What is your favourite browser and how do you overcome all the obstacles? Leave a comment below.


--
Morten Grantzau, 29. august 2012

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