Google Chrome Mac Developer Preview Works Like a Charm

Picture 22I still take it as a personal affront that Mac (s aapl) users have had to wait so long for a usable build of Google Chrome (s goog). 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┬áDemon“), 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.