A few days ago, Google released Google Web Accelerator, a tool created to accelerate web sites and pages.
This reminded me of the early days of the internet when most people connected through slow modems and had to download applications like this to speed things up a bit.
I also knew a lot of people would come up with a bunch of privacy concerns and ramble on about how Google can now track every single move we do online. They did. Althought I think Google already had a lot of that information through their Toolbar. Plus a little reminder that this information is available to all our ISPs already.
Anyway, I thought I’d download the application and give it a spin.
I didn’t really feel a big difference in speed with it, but one thing I did feel is annoyed.
Applications like this are based on creating a cache of web sites and pages and loading from it instead of getting the page from the server everytime. This one also uses prefetching of available links on a page.
Now, what’s annoying about all this is that you don’t always get served fresh pages when they’re changed, you sometimes end up being shown pages of other logged in users, and some links you don’t want are prefetched.
It also raises a number of problems in web applications, some that I have experienced myself while using Backpack. Links are prefetched and cached resulting in the web app functionality being messed up.
More on the problems with web apps here and here.
So I’ve uninstalled this application and don’t plan on using it again for the time being. I don’t really advise you guys to use it either. Not for now, at least.
Anyway, Google have taken the application off their site saying that they have currently reached their maximum capacity of users and are actively working to increase the number of users they can support.