It was a big day the other day with both Chrome and Thunderbird 3 being released. Chrome has been out on Windows for a year, but this is the first official release for Mac. Thunderbird has been around for a while but this is the first big release in years. I downloaded and gave both a test run.
So much potential. The key with Chrome is to remember this is still a beta release and it shows. Most things work fine, but occasionally you will find errors. For instance, on my videos page, the video will play, but there is no controller shown. There is also no support for extensions yet, so no extra add ons for you.
The best thing about Chrome is the speed. Pages are much faster than other browsers and the launch time is quick as well.
Anyone who does web design knows about the greatness of firebug, and Chrome tries to build it in, in the form of their Developer tools. They work well but still have plenty of refining to match firebug, but I'm sure with google working on it, the problems won't last long.
All in all Chrome, at this point, is best served as a secondary browser. For now I'm sticking with the Fox, at least until Chrome matures a little bit more.
Oh Thunderbird, I want to like you so much. Your big brother, Firefox, is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Well with this release, you may have won me over.
I tried Thunderbird 2 a while ago. I was still using Mac Mail up to a couple days ago. I found Thunderbird 2 to be ugly, buggy, and ultimately less productive than Mail.
Thunderbird 3 is out to change all that. By far the coolest thing about it is tabbed mail. Mozilla knows how to do tabs, and the execution in Thunderbird 3 is fantastic. After a few hours of tabbing out messages and flipping between them had me wondering how I ever lived without it.
Other improvements include an updated appearance, and "improved" account creation. This is where I think Thunderbird 3 falls short. Adding a new account is still a messy process, and if you have a google hosted email on your own domain, the auto detection doesn't even come close to getting it right. If you're not experienced in setting up a mail client, you'll have a hard time.
Overall Thunderbird 3 is looking solid. So far I'm still using it. There are plenty of nice features and the search function is awesome. Time will tell if I stick with it long term, but for now, it's doing a fine job.
Have you gave either a download yet? Let me know what you think in the comments.