When I first looked at it, the whole thing looked like a marketing campaign to make users download Google Chrome. Released a couple of years back, but updated recently, I guess it was intended to stay as a Google eBook that is available only from its store and viewable on only Google Chrome – but later, I could access it using any browser as it has its own URL shared below. A smart move indeed, as the book tells you much about browsers – giving you both basics and some expert level information. Probably, the end aim of this Google Chrome marketing campaign is to make more users use their web browser.
Google Chrome Marketing Campaign?
When I searched for “20 Things I learned”, I got a link to Google eBook store and it said I need Google Chrome to download 20 Things I learned About Browsers and Web. Something like the screenshot below:
When you install the app on Chrome and launch it, you see a website. So basically, it is an app that opens a website – just like some other apps that open websites or parts of the sites. The closest example I have is Twitter for Chrome.
You can also access the Google Chrome eBook directly from the website once you have the link of the site. I am listing the link at the bottom of this post so that you can read it directly. It is an animated book and as expressed in the reviews for the book at Google Store, I too want a voice that reads aloud the content.
Though there are Chrome extensions to make text speak aloud, they won’t work on this one, on my Windows computer. Probably because the book is in Flash format (that’s what I think; if you know the format of eBook to be something else, please share). Following are some points and excerpts from the book so that you know if the visit to the website to read the entire book would be worth your time.
NOTE: Many things taught or expressed in the Google eBook are based on Chrome browser and the book is full of animated illustrations, making it much more attractive – even if you wish to simply browse through it.
20 Things I Learned About Browsers and Web
To begin with, there is a foreword of two pages that talks about what all the book covers: basics of Internet, then the programming languages and then about web browser technologies.
Thing 1 is about Internet – what it is, how it was invented and how it became the one small/large thing that people cannot live without. It talks about the TCP/IP in short and in easy language. Here is an excerpt so that you can understand the level of language used in the book:
“TCP/IP is somewhat like human communication: when we speak to each other, the rules of grammar provide structure to language and ensure that we can understand each other and exchange ideas. Similarly, TCP/IP provides the rules of communication that ensure interconnected devices understand each other so that they can send information back and forth.”
Thing 2 is about cloud computing. It explains how safe it is to back up and sync your files to the cloud. And in their own words, why it is okay if a truck runs over your laptop. Thing 3 talks about Web Apps. It explains how you can use them from anywhere, irrespective of the computer operating system etc.
“This interaction between web technologies and browsers has made the web an open and friendly construction platform for web developers, who then bring to life many useful and fun web applications that we use daily.”
Thing 5 is about how HTML5 brought videos to the web. It does not go into details. Rather stays simple explaining the <video> tag and how it helps drag and drop on websites. Thing 6 is about the 3D experience in web browsers. Talks about how “some” browsers now have the capability to provide 3D without hogging on the bandwidth. Obviously, the hint is towards Chrome as I consider it a part of marketing Google Chrome campaign.
Thing 7 talks about browsers and why keeping them updated is important. It does not specifically point out Chrome; tries to stay neutral. There is a note for editor telling you that you can check which browser you are using at: http://whatbrowser.com/
“If you can’t upgrade an old version of Internet Explorer, the Google Chrome Frame plug-in can give you the benefits of some modern web app functionality by bringing in Google Chrome’s capabilities into Internet Explorer.”
Thing 8 is plug-ins for browser, Thing 9 is extensions and Thing 10 is about backing up extensions, bookmarks etc. Thing 10 is a place where the writer makes a pitch for Google Chrome browser as it offers easy sync with Google Servers, thereby saving your bookmarks etc. in case “a truck runs over your laptop”. I don’t know why they are so crazy about truck running over a laptop but the phrase appears many times in the eBook.
The remaining Things cover browser cookies, privacy, and security in short – all the while, mentioning Chrome in a neutral way. This is one of the best tech related eBooks I’ve read in recent days. Illustrations too are good. I did not cover the last 10 in details due to lack of space but by now, you might have got an idea of the book.
20ThingsILearned About Browsers and Web is sure a good shot at Google Chrome marketing campaign. Check it out here.