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Summary:

Google announced an alpha version of their Chrome browser for Mac and Linux systems this morning. I immediately downloaded it and have used it as my main browser for the past six hours. It wasn’t until after I downloaded it that I actually read the news: […]

google-chrome-mac

Google announced an alpha version of their Chrome browser for Mac and Linux systems this morning. I immediately downloaded it and have used it as my main browser for the past six hours. It wasn’t until after I downloaded it that I actually read the news: Google suggested (yelled, actually based on the all caps) not to download this version unless you were a developer. As I said on Twitter, I’m such a “webel” when it comes to early browser builds.

I’ve only used it on my Mac, although I’ll take it for spin later on my MSI Wind. The netbook is currently set up for a dual-boot between the Windows 7 Release Candidate and Ubuntu 9.04. Two initial thoughts:

  • This is the fastest browser I’ve seen yet. Some folks understandably mentioned that I started smoking from a big, fat FiOS pipe yesterday, which is true. But that only gets the data to my browser faster; the browser still has to render it. and that’s where I’m seeing the huge difference. The same web usage on other browsers today have been visibly slower.
  • This is definitely an alpha. It hasn’t crashed on me yet, but there are over 400 open issues the Chrome team has listed. Some are behind the scenes, but many are visual, functional or usability items. They include: no bookmarks, no Flash video support, and no changing of the default search engine. While you can pull a tab out to become an independent window, you can’t turn that tab into an “app” on your desktop. I don’t yet see a native way to control or view the discrete Chrome processes created by each open tab. I can see them in the Mac’s Activity Monitor, of course. These are just some of the many holes to be patched.

chrome-activity

For many people out there, this might be worth a quick download to kick the tires, but that’s about it. There are just too many missing features that people expect in a browser. That’s not a slight against Chrome or the Chrome team; this is after all, a public alpha. Even for a company that continuously releases products in beta, there’s bound to be plenty of gaps. Regardless of the missing features and functions, the browser is quick, offers a simple interface and is fast. Oh wait…I already said that.

  1. You know what? Google can take their browser and stick it. I was so excited when Chrome was released; I thought it only a matter of time until it came to Mac. Only a matter of time… Only a matter…

    I feel forsaken. Just like I feel about the lack of Google Earth on Android.

    And an alpha? Really? Wake me when they care.

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  2. Shawn Roberts Friday, June 5, 2009

    I was going to download, read the warning and then decided the warning was intended for a novice like me. I really enjoy Chrome on Windows and I look forward to trying the beta version for the Mac.

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  3. That’s pretty crazy it would seem that a company like Google would not release software like that.

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  4. It’s late launching but finally it has arrived for Mac user. I am also a Mac user and Google Chrome hasn’t dissappointed me yet. All the site which I use everyday are working quickly and perfect. I didn’t had any issues with it yet. Google has done a decent job thanks.

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