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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.
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:
- 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.