I uninstalled Chrome today. Yep. Gone from my computer. Possibly forever.
It’s been slow and buggy for a little while now. Flash was acting up and I couldn’t fix it for the life of me. I had tried everything. And I was just living with it because… There isn’t a better browser out there, right?
Weeeell… Yes. Yes, there is. >.>
I mentioned my issues to several people in my life and one of them suggested: “hey, try Opera maybe”. And I figured; sure why not. I had two main concerns with this. First of all was keeping some of my extensions; mainly Grammarly. Grammarly is a life saver for me some days. Holy shit. Second of all was customization. Mainly, I try to keep my color schemes as dark as possible *points out this blog that someone recently complained was too dark* because it hurts my eyes less. This counts for things like my browser color scheme and my desktop.
My third issue with this is I hate change. I really do. I bitched and moaned about Skype after Windows Live Messenger got discontinued and then it took me ages to get used to the idea of replacing it with Discord even though it is infinitely superior. So, even if Opera was infinitely superior, I figured there would be a bit of resistance on my part in making this change.
I figured I’d give it a shot, though. I’d switch to Opera for a week and if it didn’t work out, I’d just uninstall it and go back to Chrome. It’s been over a week and I’m honestly only uninstalling Chrome now because I forgot it even existed. Opera is amazing.
Why is it better? Let me make you a small list of reasons…
Well, first of all, it’s fast. And if you want to turn off any fancy-schmancy graphical features it can become even faster; so I’ve been told. I haven’t toyed with settings like Turbo Mode and Power Saving Mode because quite frankly I haven’t needed to, but I love the fact they exist.
It made for an extremely easy transition. The only things I needed to get used to about Opera is the fact the Opera menu is on the left, whereas in Chromes it was on the right, and it has a side bar (that you can get rid of, but I discovered I actually like quite a bit). It automatically imported all my favorites, settings, saved passwords and the like from Chrome. I didn’t have to break a sweat to have everything exactly the way I wanted it.
Chrome’s opening screen was constantly pissing me off because it’d add random pages from my bookmarks or history instead of letting me just pick a set group of pages like it once used to. I’m not sure at what point in Chrome’s development that changed, but it had, and I hated it. I like my stuff organized. Opera’s ‘speed dial’ displays the pages I want and ONLY the pages I want on the start page. I love it.
And let’s face it; there are definitely things on my history I don’t want on my browser starting page for the world to see. Thank you very much. >.>
All them features!
Opera has a built-in ad blocker and a built-in VPN. Two things I had been unable to make work on Chrome because it was already so laggy. AdBlock nearly broke my ability to browse sites like Newgrounds (yes, I go there for games sometimes >.>) and I had to get rid of it. Not only that, but Opera has extensions! And one of those extensions allows you to add extensions from the Chrome Web Store! Which means I can have not only Grammarly but also Lightshot; which was a screenshot tool I had removed from Chrome after it randomly stopped working. My favorite part of this, however, was Magic Actions For YouTube that, amongst other things, adds night mode to YouTube.
Speaking of YouTube, there are two other little features in Opera that I’ve found extremely useful. One is the ability to pop-out any video playing on the browser and keep them onscreen at all times. This is fantastic for me because I like to watch things while playing Pokemon or other little games late at night. And this makes that a lot easier.
Another feature is the ability to mute a tab with one click. See, on Opera, whenever there is audio playing on a website it will show this little ‘equalizer effect’ over the website’s icon. And if you put your cursor on it, it’ll change into a volume icon. Click that and the sound is muted instantly. With one click. This is awesome not only because it lets you know, always, when a specific tab is playing audio but also makes it extremely easy to shut it off.
With all of that out of the way, let’s be fair here. Opera isn’t perfect by any means. And I think my main problem with it was that it’s not as intuitive as it could be. The starting page initially came with a Google search bar that I wasted five minutes trying to figure out how to get rid of and I’m not sure now how I did it, the option to activate the ad block wasn’t completely apparent to me, I only found it after digging through the settings pages for quite a while. Same with the VPN. I also haven’t found an option to enable automatic updates; which means I have to tell it to update whenever a new version is out. However, these were very minor things for me and all in all, it solved all of my browsing problems.
And if you’re wondering why I’m making this post just to talk up Opera, well… I could have fixed this issue months ago by just looking at my options sooner. I didn’t because to me, eh, Chrome was indisputably the best browser and if that wasn’t working well enough then; pft, that’s just how it is. And now I realize how stupid that is. Opera isn’t even the third most used browser. It falls behind Internet Explorer when it comes to user base and that’s frankly not fair. I’ve been through my share of browsers before I settled for Chrome and Opera wasn’t even on my radar at the time. Granted, Chrome was the best browser then but it has severely declined since. And I personally believe part of the reason is the fact it’s already established itself as the best browser there is. It doesn’t have to try anymore. Idiots like me are going to keep using it even if they’re unhappy because they don’t know any better.
So, my point in all of this is… If you’re having issues with Chrome like I was… Well… Try Opera, maybe. *shrug*