Google has built much of its reputation on its innovative, high-quality products. However, at least some portion of customer loyalty is driven by the company’s dedication to another crucial element: an appealing company personality. The various Google Doodles and humorous company videos are certainly popular contributors to the Google personality, but the most enjoyed may well be the various April Fools’ pranks the company creates. This year, almost every product released their own elaborate hoax, but the Chrome browser went so far as releasing two. The first, “Chromercise,” was a set of workouts designed to help users keep up with Chrome’s incredibly fast speeds. The second, “ChromeLite,” is an extension that makes the Chrome browser even faster.
How can Chrome be made faster with just a simple extension? Why, by imitating the old-school browser Lynx – and simplifying the web into nothing but monochrome colors and plaintext. Google has removed everything superfluous, including audio, video, images, colors, and fonts, from every page that’s loaded. To help you feel great about how much load time you’re saving, Chrome even tells you how many bytes are being saved through a widget added at the bottom of your screen.
Feel like missing out on media might be too much for you? No worries. Google has replaced images with text-based art (ASCII) to keep your eyes entertained. Plus, improved speed isn’t the only benefit you’ll get while ChromeLite is enabled! Security has also improved. Google tells us that, “Preliminary analysis by our top-notch security team also suggests that running ChromeLite reduces your susceptibility to targeted exploits by removing a popular attack surface: color.”
Unlike many other Google stunts for April 1st, the ChromeLite extension is a fully functional extension that users can play with as they see fit.
[via the Chromium Blog]