Saturday, May 11, 2013

A quick introduction to Google Chrome

A quick introduction to Google Chrome
Quick note about this post: My district pushed out Chrome to all district computers on Thursday. In anticipation of having some questions about this new browser choice I put together this introductory resource.

What is the Chrome web browser? - The Chrome web browser is a piece of software installed on the computer used for accessing the Internet. Other examples of a web browser are Internet Explorer and Firefox. Download Chrome Here

Why do I need two web browsers? Can’t I just use Internet Explorer? - Older versions of Internet Explorer can no longer be updated on district computers. As a result newer websites may not work properly. In some cases information on a page may not display properly or is blank. In other cases the site will not work at all. Examples of this are websites like Google Drive and Edmodo. At the same time there are still occasions when it is better to use Internet Explorer to access older websites. For instance, individuals who use the Bitech software or accessing your district email using the internet. A good troubleshooting strategy is that when something isn’t working on the Internet try opening the website in a different browser.

What’s so special about Chrome? - Lots of things! But the main reasons for using Chrome are because its usually much faster loading websites, it is the best way to use Google Drive (Docs) and other modern websites, and it has really useful add ons called extensions and web apps that make the browser very powerful and more useful. It’s a little bit like using the App Store on your iPad.

When I open Chrome it says to sign-in. Do I have to? - No. You can easily skip this by clicking on the “skip this step” link in the bottom right hand corner of the message.

Can I sign-in to Chrome if i want to? - Yes. But preferably you should be using your Marysville Google Apps account to sign-in. If you don’t know your Marysville Google Apps account but would like to please contact me. By the way, your  Marysville Google Apps account is what you also use to access Google Drive (Docs).

Where’s the search bar? - Google Chrome combines the search bar and address bar into one bar called the “omnibox”. Just type in your search terms and Bingo! You're immediately sent to a Google search, or type in a web address like and you’ll be sent directly to that site. This saves a lot of time and browser space.

Can I import my Bookmarks and Favorites from Internet Explorer into Chrome? - Sure. Just click on the settings icon in the upper right hand corner of the browser. Then hover your mouse over “bookmarks” and select “import bookmarks” from the open menu.

Can I make Chrome my default browser? - Yes. Just click on the settings icon in the upper right hand corner of the browser. Then click on settings from the menu. Scroll down on the settings page to the Default browser section. Making Chrome your default browser will force links in emails and documents to open using Chrome rather than Internet Explorer.

What else can Chrome do? - Patience grasshopper. I’ll be sharing more about Chrome in the future and offering some face-to-face sessions about Chrome and Google Drive. But if you can’t wait, let me recommend this blog post as your next step. Enjoy!