Sunday, January 18, 2009

How many browsers really work with Google? Fewer than you might think.

How many web browsers are fully supported clients with Google's web applications?

Fewer than most people imagine.

Consider this acid test suite of Google web applications that I routinely use:
  1. Gmail with Google Video Chat
  2. Google Apps: Documents, Spreadsheet
  3. Blogger and BlotThis!
  4. Google Sites
  5. Google Calendar
  6. Google Page Creator*
Now consider this set of browsers I run against those apps** and the OSs I use with them:
  1. Firefox (XP and OS X)
  2. Safari (OS X)
  3. Camino (OS X)
  4. Chrome (XP)
Which browser(s) really work with all of Google Apps 1-5, or even 1-4?

Just Firefox. Even today's Chrome has obvious bugs, such as omitting the final character from a link created against an existing text string.

I assume IE 7 works pretty well too, but I can't speak to that. I'm surprised Chrome still doesn't work as well as FF against Google's own properties.

It's still incredibly hard to deliver full function "web 2.0" apps against more than one browser.

* On death row and supposedly due for replacement by Google Sites, but that seems to be on hold.
** I use IE 7 regularly against Sharepoint at work, but nowhere else

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