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Google edges closer to Mac version of Chrome browser

As Chrome OS early build spotted in wild

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Google has taken a significant step closer to releasing a Mac beta version of its open source Chrome browser, by adding printing support to its latest build.

Mountain View spun out a Windows version of Chrome over a year ago, since when its developers have been adding spit and polish to a Mac equivalent.

The company confirmed yesterday that Mac printing support had now been built into the browser.

“This is the first of series of patches to implement printing on the Mac,” said the firm on its Chromium developer feedback page.

“This API is based heavily on the Linux version; although it doesn't end up abstracting very much on the Mac, having a NativeMetafile implementation makes it easy to pass data through the existing print architecture.”

Google added that a few “minor” issues remained and said the latest features hadn't been added to the software yet.

Meanwhile, some proposed features that would support Microsoft’s imminent Windows 7 OS, including displaying “jump lists” and showing thumbnails of open tabs on the task bar, have been shelved for now.

Google is currently speedily pushing out beta and stable releases of Chrome that carry the 3.x naming convention. The next generation 4.x versions of the software are currently only available as developer previews for both Windows and Mac OS X.

The search giant has downgraded its ambitions with the Windows 7 features by moving them into version 5 of the browser, according to its issue-tracking system.

Elsewhere on planet Chrome, an apparent early build of Google's OS has been spotted running free in the wild wild web.

It's also being reported that Google could-possibly-maybe have more to say about Chrome OS, which it first unleashed on the world in July this year, later today. But hold on to your hats, there's been no official word yet. ®

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