Feeds

Google betas Chrome for Mac, Linux

And 300-plus extensions

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google (finally) released beta versions of its Chrome browser for Mac and Linux on Tuesday, along with over 300 extensions for Windows and Linux.

Sorry, Mac users - extensions "aren't quite beta-quality on Mac yet", according to a Google blog posting announcing the new-release trifecta.

Google offers an introductory video for the long-delayed Mac beta, which notes that the Webkit-based browser integrates Mac OS X's spell-checker and Keychain, plus OS X's built-in sandboxing system. There's also a four-video collection of marketing fluff touting Chrome's speed, stability, and features - if watching cutesy Rube Goldbergian contraptions is your cup of tea.

At first blush, the Mac beta seems snappy and polished, although most improvements over Apple's Safari - such as each tab being a separate process - are under the hood rather than immediately apparent.

Chrome's New Tab page, for example, mimics Safari's Top Sites page, although with a more-straightforward and more-limited array of pages, and with similar customization options such as arranging and pinning. Chrome's version, however, offers more history info and more viewing options.

Google Chrome Tab Page
Apple Safari Top Sites

Chrome's New Tab page (top) and Safari's Top Sites (bottom) have much the same role - but Apple's looks a bit more "Appley" and Google's provides more info and viewing options

One Chrome feature stands out, however, that does trump Safari: what Google calls the Omnibox - a combined search field and address bar.

The Linux beta includes what Google describes as "tight integration" with GTX+ themes, is updated via the normal system package manager, and as promised on The Chromium Blog, "works well" with Gnome and KDE.

For users who want a deeper dive into the philosophy and structure of the Chrome browser, Google offers a 39-page comic book detailing the dev team's goals and providing an overview of the structure of Chrome's underpinnings.

Google Chrome comic book

Take a 39-page tour through Chrome's innards, comic-book style

As of Tuesday morning, Chrome's extensions gallery lists 337 extensions for Chrome's Windows and Linus versions, arranged by most popular, most recent, top rated, and featured. Among today's 37 featured extensions are a news reader, lyrics finder, weather tracker, and - as might be expected - utilities for such Googley offerings as Gmail, Voice, Calendar, Blogger, and more.

You can download the Mac beta here (Intel-only, Mac OS X 10.5 and higher) and the Linux beta here (Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora/openSUSE). ®

Bootnote

In the company's email announcing the Mac beta release, Google lists "a few fun facts" about the development process, including:

  • 73,804 lines of Mac-specific code written
  • 29 developer builds
  • 1,177 Mac-specific bugs fixed
  • 12 external committers and bug editors to the Google Chrome for Mac code base, 48 external code contributors
  • 64 Mac Minis doing continuous builds and tests
  • 8,760 cups of soft drinks and coffee consumed
  • 4,380 frosted mini-wheats eaten

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.