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Developer Preview of Google Chrome for OS X Available

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An early version of Chrome is now publicly available for Mac users, at least what there is of it. As the Chromium Blog glibly posted, this release is intended for developers who take “great pleasure in incomplete, unpredictable, and potentially crashing software.” Having caveated that, Chrome feels fast, faster than Safari, and that is saying something.

Something else to be said in favor of Chrome is that it’s stable. Not that this release doesn’t crash — it does, but it just dies gracefully. Unlike Safari, which upon crashing takes all your browser windows down to the grave, Chrome displays a “sad tab of death” for the single offending browser instance. Similarly, isolating browser instances benefits security, and security for Chrome is also boosted by periodically updated blacklists of malware and phishing urls.

What's wrong with this UI picture? Look at the tabs.

On the negative side, “developer preview” is arguably a euphemism for alpha release, with all the negative connotations that implies. Something as basic as resizing the main window demonstrates in jaggy, tearing detail how far Chrome is from completion. Just some of Chrome’s missing features include:

  • Flash is right out (but javascript seems pretty robust)
  • Printing and saving pages
  • Bookmark importing and organization
  • Privacy settings, passwords, and autofill
  • Full screen display

Nonetheless, even at this nascent stage of development, Chrome for OS X is impressive. Mac users should definitely be looking forward to it in their future.

12 Responses to “Developer Preview of Google Chrome for OS X Available”

  1. @James, I think Tomas means ALL the way on the top, as in in the title bar. Personally, I actually like where Safari’s tabs are, but it took a little while to get used to it. Chromium puts them above the address bar and nevigation buttons, but still leaves space above them.

    Personally, I’m quite enjoying Safari 4, and the occasional crashes don’t bother me as much since I have Glims installed and it restores my previous session after closing it or crashing, among other things. Chromium, and eventually Google Chrome, for OS X will have to be significantly faster and more stable at this point for me to consider switching again.

  2. I hate saying this over and over, but Chromium is not Google Chrome.
    Chromium is the open source platform that Chromium is built off of. The features that Chrome is known for will never be added to the current chromium builds.

    On that note, I have been using the nightly packages of Chromium on Ubuntu for months now, and it is still very promising. I am mostly waiting for Gears integration, and application support when Chrome is officially released,