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Summary:

I still take it as a personal affront that Mac users have had to wait so long for a usable build of Google Chrome. Since I haven’t done any Windows-related work in a good while now, running Chrome was really my only reason for using any […]

Picture 22I still take it as a personal affront that Mac users have had to wait so long for a usable build of Google Chrome. Since I haven’t done any Windows-related work in a good while now, running Chrome was really my only reason for using any kind of OS virtualization. I barely even have cause to open MS Word anymore.

Finally, as Simon mentioned last week, we Apple fans have got a Chrome build near enough completion to get worked up about. It isn’t anywhere near a proper final build, but it does work well enough that I felt comfortable using it to compose this piece. It’s good enough for most web work that doesn’t involve using Flash (which is almost all of it, in my case, I’m realizing).

The software is still prone to crashes, but the nice thing about Chrome crashes is that they stay isolated. Firefox still crashes on me with fairly alarming frequency (I’m using the latest stable build, not the beta preview), and when it does, it takes all 15 of my open tabs with it. Yes, “Restore previous session” generally eliminates any cause for concern, but I still find it irksome.

Picture 23Chrome also feels just as speedy as its Windows counterpart (see Sam’s post “Latest Google Chrome Release Is a Speed Demon“), which is to say, it feels very fast indeed — faster than Firefox, and faster even than Safari, the latest build of which received acclaim for its speed benchmarks.

Some basics are still lacking, like the ability to print pages, and an easy way to fullscreen your browser window, but rather than hindering my workflow, these limitations are mostly just serving to illustrate how little I take advantage of most of these features on a daily basis.

A couple of crucial components still lacking in the test build are security and privacy filters, so if you are going to start using Chrome as part of your workflow, make sure to do so with that in mind. It’s probably to keep sensitive tasks and data relegated to the latest stable builds of Firefox, Safari and Opera. For more details and to download the new build, check out the official Chromium blog.

Have you installed Chrome for Mac? Let us know how you’re getting on in the comments.

  1. Meh. Safari 4 is out. FF3.5 will be out by time this is reasonably stable (though the massive delays in FF are worrying at some level). I understand why Chrome was compelling months ago, but unless you love its UI approach, the biggest advantage it has, raw speed, is about to be matched by 2 other browsers on the Mac. Even if Chrome is 40% faster or something… 40% isn’t 800%. I might give up FF and my extensions for an 8x speed increase, but not for 40%, esp when the actual time in seconds is very small.

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  2. [...] See the rest here:  Google Chrome Mac Developer Preview Works Like a Charm [...]

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  3. Runs? Yes. Like a charm? Not quite.

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  4. I build the latest Chromium build and it is surpisingly stable and fast (only about 2 months ago it crashed every 5 minutes). I’ve also used FF3.5beta and Safari 4…Chromium is still noticeably faster than either (also did Sunspider benchmark on them all, Chromium is still 1.7x faster than the beta of Firefox, which is 2x faster than the current stable of Firefox).

    Personally, I’d like to see Firefox abandoned for Chromium (once it supports add-ons). Technically, there’s no shame in the open-source community working on a more modern browser. Politically, though, I’m sure it’s a different story.

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  5. cool :)
    I didn’t get a chance to test it .. had only Linux version to test, on Ubuntu .. which I am using right now :)_

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  6. I like it! I am really looking forward to a polished product.

    I downloaded it after I saw it on reddit and have been using it ever since for simple to moderate tasks.

    Some issues I’ve noticed so far:

    Tabs aren’t necessarily relevant to their content: sometimes it takes them a while to update, sometimes they never do.
    Gmail compositions can get SUPER bogged down: haven’t seen this happen on another browser, but it would get a couple of WORDS behind where I was actually typing
    Extensions: of course there are none. I just really hope that A. it’s a solid final release and B. the dev community opens their arms to it and makes the extensions for it that are going to make it a serious rival to FF

    Overall, I already really like it. With some smaller issues taken care of, it would be better than IE, IMO :) But I don’t think very highly of IE…

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  7. [...] Google Chrome Mac Developer Preview Works Like a Charm [...]

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  8. I recently moved to Mac from a lifetime on Wintel, and I’ve been surprised to find that one of the things I miss most is Chrome.

    I thought I couldn’t live without my FF add-ons when I originally moved to Chrome, but I quickly forgot all about them, and now that I’m back using FF, I don’t find them all that relevant.

    What I really miss, more than the HTML/JS rendering speed, is the UI responsiveness – Firefox just feels like a slug by comparison, particularly on startup, opening new windows/tabs, and switching tabs. I also miss the bare-bones simplicity and cleanness of the UI. Oh, and the Chrome Awesome Bar. Everything about Chrome just feels slick, speedy and responsive by comparison.

    Dunc

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  9. Can’t wait for the final release. Hands down the most favourite browser. Firefox’ sluggish GUI ticks me off, and nevermind the JavaScript performance which can drive any attempts to render graphics using the newly implemented canvas element useless.

    Safari 4 isn’t too bad, if only it didn’t consume so much memory, and leave behind the X-gigabyte trail of website screenshots for its pretty sites panel.

    And come on, when is anybody going to implement the auto-hiding status bar and tabs that open right next to the currently selected one? It’s as if only Google staff have ever used internet for more than an hour and the other companies just don’t know what users look for in a browser.

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  10. It has it’s issues, yes, but if you go to the Acid3 Test, it scores a 100/100 with just a minor glitch.

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    1. it’s not necessarily a minor glitch as it does not render smoothly which is part of the test – it stalls for a moment (at 69). i love Chrome. firefox stalls at that point too. maybe that’s normal?

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