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Brad Geddes's Theories on Marketing Google Chrome, Flash fixes for browsers (must read), and Browser...

Google Chrome, Flash fixes for browsers (must read), and Browser Test Info

There are several known bugs where loading up a flash file will freeze a browser. This is common in IE8, Firefox, and even Chrome. There’s a simple fix: install adobe flash 10.x beta.

Please note, there are a few flash files around the web which will think you’re using such an old version of flash, it will ask you to upgrade to a current version. I’ve not seen this error often, but it’s worth noting.

Upgrading to Flash 10x beta

  • For all non IE browsers (Chrome, Firefox, etc)
    • Visit the uninstall page and uninstall the plug-in
    • Visit the install page and use the ‘Download plug-in-in’ for whichever OS you have
  • For IE…
    • First, get IE8. This is not a requirement, but IE8 has been stable through my use and is much faster than IE7. It’s actually worth upgrading to the beta product (but it is beta – so at your own risk)
    • Secondly, visit the uninstall page and run the uninstaller for IE
    • Lastly, visit the install page. You will want to run ‘ActiveX Control for Windows’ to install the new flash in IE

While Flash is a standard, if most of what you’re using flash for is to view YouTube videos, get the Better YouTube extension. One of the options is to use an alternate player that I’ve found to be more stable.

Google Chrome

I must admit my fascination with Google’s new browser, Chrome, wore off after trying to use the program for a few hours and I’ve never looked back. My issues had nothing to do with the privacy issues or TOS.

I like my plug-ins (which will be coming for Chrome). I regularly surf with both FlashBlock and NoScript installed so I can control what is being executed within my browser. I was amazed the Google Toolbar couldn’t be installed, nor other toolbars. I can’t imagine life without RoboForm. Not to mention the plethora of other plug-ins I use (which someday I’ll write about).

I didn’t find that it really worked as advertised. Google Analytics timed out on me several times and ‘crashed’ a tab. IE8 and Firefox ran Analytics just fine. Is there some additional protection going on in the script execution that is causing some site not to work well with Chrome?

While Chrome supposedly has the best Acid Test results (but I’ve heard that depends a lot on the OS), you can also run your own script speed benchmark on Google’s site. When I ran this test on my mini-laptop, Firefox beat Chrome on 3 of the 5 tests. Chrome did beat IE7 on most tests, but watch out for IE8 it just seems leaner than IE7.

However – and this amazes me – when I look at this site’s statistics, this is the browser usage since Tuesday (and my browser isn’t counted in these stats):

Browser stats for bgTheory Percent Usage
Firefox 57.71%
Internet Explorer 38.38%
Safari 4.41%
Chrome 4.16%
Opera, Seamonkey, etc… Less than 1% each

It’s easy to look at W3 to see their overall browser stats which look like this for August 08:

Browser stats from W3 Percent Usage
IE (all) 50.6%
Firefox 43.7%
Safari 2.6%
Opera 2.1%

While I knew my audience was a bit higher in alternate browsers than the typical Internet audience – that’s a fair amount of Chrome users; especially considering I receive a lot of traffic from Google’s seminar page that is just general advertisers and not necessarily the early adopters of new products, such as the more technical audience which regularly reads this blog. I’ll have to wait a few weeks and look at the browser stats again. It could just be those testing out Chrome before returning to other browsers.

Browser Resources

And now for some resources you can use to ensure your site is cross-browser compatible:

Preview your site in IE8 (please note, IE8 also has a really cool tool that lets someone view the site in an IE7 compatibility mode)

Browsershots allows a lot of previewing, across different browsers, screen resolutions, and OS. This is one of my favorite preview tools.

Browsercam is one of the most sophisticated tools. It also does mobile device screenshots.

W3 Screen Resolution information.  Don’t forget, a little more than 76% of clicks occur ‘above the fold’ and only 0.4% occur to the right (0.3% right above the fold, 0.1% right below the fold). Know your audience and their screen resolution.

W3 Browser Stats. Firefox is gaining ground faster than anyone thought it would.

Just Remember…

Always look at your stats; not just these averages.

If your audience is senior citizens on AOL dial-up with browser resolutions of 800×600; your focus should be on easily resizing fonts (no absolute fonts – this groups wants control of that arena) and quick loading images.

If your audience is Firefox 3.1 beta users with over 1900x screen resolutions on T1 lines; go ahead and use those high res photos.

Averages give you a starting place – Your stats will tell you what to do next.

No Comments

  1. Leif
    September 7, 2008 at 11:02 pm · Reply

    Sadly installing Flash 10 did not fix this for me. I only experience the problem in Chrome. All my other browsers have no problem at all with Flash. In Chrome flash acts really bad and freezes constantly. This is especially the case with flash videos.

  2. Anton
    September 9, 2008 at 3:07 am · Reply

    I ran Chrome against Firefox 3.01 on three different machines (two low spec and one high spec) and Chrome beat Firefox on all machines.

    The Flash videos, even with the beta version, is still a problem.

    The biggest win for me with Chrome is the way it manages downloads and tabs – beautiful and elegant.

  3. Blaze
    September 22, 2008 at 8:57 pm · Reply

    Well, It worked for me. Many thanks, now I dont have to open Safari just for Youtube

  4. Marketing Man
    October 13, 2008 at 5:51 am · Reply

    I enjoy the high page rendering speed that Chrome has. It makes surfing a great breeze, plus the independant tabs “sandboxes” help when one page crashes, then it doesn’t affect all the other pages opened in the other tabs.

  5. PaceyIV
    October 15, 2008 at 1:40 pm · Reply

    Why my Google Chrome, faill Acid 3 Test, and the score is 79? What can I do to pass the test?

  6. Pierre
    July 9, 2009 at 12:58 pm · Reply

    I share your fondness for RoboForm. It has improved my productivity by a huge amount. I won’t switch to Chrome until RoboForm is available. I especially appreciate that I can back up its data base, and print out the passwords in plain text.

    I’m sure you’re familiar with the Aardvark plugin. I love blasting away those offensive animated advertisements when I’m trying to concentrate on reading. I have nothing against ads, as long as they stay quiet and don’t distract me.

  7. mikee
    June 22, 2010 at 1:47 pm · Reply

    Is it just me or are other people having Chrome crash thanks to flash VERY often…?
    It seems like for every hour or less of using flash, chrome crashes with a flash error message…

  8. sunny
    October 7, 2010 at 4:18 am · Reply

    was wondering here and there and finally this solution worked for me;

    * Run Reginout scan for active-x, file associations and other registry errors largely behind such crashes.

    * Try to uninstall the current flash player version. (Read this official guide to uninstall flash plugin: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/141/tn_14157.html

    * Use official uninstaller tool to remove all flash elements from your computer.

    * After completing the above task download flash player 9 instead of the latest version. However, latest version is preferred. for latest version visit this link: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/
    Sometimes there are intricate browser flash conflicts and changing the versions is often helpful.

    * if you are having problems while installing flash then read this stuff:
    http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/191/tn_19166.html

    * Update your sound drivers if possible since the videos may simply crash or freeze because of the corrupted or missing drivers.

    1) Open Device Manager

    2) Find the sound-card device

    3) Remember the name of the device

    4) Uninstall it.

    5) After doing this restart your system and update the drivers if they are not automatically updated.

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