Steve Jobs definitely had a point, about quite a few things, and specifically about hit states on touch devices. Chrome is great. We all know that. It’s Chrome. It’s quick, beautiful and comes with anodine style life ads, and slightly cheery non specific plinky plonky music. It tries so hard to be a part of us. It wants us to cry.
I’m being cynical of course. Ultimately it’s a great browser, on desktop.
On a tablet though it’s a little different. It’s a desktop browser out of its comfort zone. It feels wrong, like it’s put on the right clothes for the wrong occasion. It’s spent ages getting ready but was sent the wrong invite. How mean. I wonder who sent it. Meanies.
The thing is those tabs are just completely wrong. They don’t feel right at all. I’ve got small fingertips and I’m constantly activating the wrong tab, or even more frustratingly, closing tabs down accidentally. If you did this in the middle of a transaction it would be infuriating.
Chrome has always felt that it’s trying to do the heavy lifting for you. It’s helpful, buttery smooth, super fast, and joyfully usable on desktop. Why the tablet pain?
I caught a glimpse of IE on Windows 8 and it looked like a strong step in the right direction, using touch + gesture in new, innovative and seemingly appropriate ways.
Chrome really needs to try to catch up, and I’m looking forward to see if Google develops something more appropriate in future.