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Developer Builds of Google Chrome for OS X and Linux Now Available

A Chromium blog post yesterday has announced the availability of developer builds of Google's Chrome browser for both OS X and Linux. The news comes several weeks after the release of initial OS X builds of Chromium, the open source project behind Chrome. The announcement, however, warns that most users should not install the new builds, as they are buggy, unstable, and feature-incomplete.

How incomplete? So incomplete that, among other things , you won't yet be able to view YouTube videos, change your privacy settings, set your default search provider, or even print.

While the release indicates that Google is making progress on the OS X version of Chrome, it does appear that Google has significant work ahead in order to meet its previously-announced plan for launch in the first half of this year. Google Chrome offers three release channels ranging from developer previews to stable releases, indicating that the OS X version of Chrome has several thresholds to pass before it is ready for public launch.

Many Mac users have been looking forward to the public launch of Chrome for OS X and some have expressed frustration with the length of time it is taking to complete development of the Mac version. Google co-founder Sergey Brin even went so far as to call the lack of a Mac version alongside the Windows beta launch last year "embarrassing". But as Google developer Mike Pinkerton, who has been working on the OS X version of Chrome, notes with some frustration, deploying Chrome for OS X is more difficult than many think.

We're lucky in Chromium that we can leverage a lot of shared code from the windows side, but we do have to write a bunch of UI code (unless you want the UI to just look and behave exactly like windows...I didn't think so). We're also not just embedding WebKit and dragging in a couple buttons and a text field. The team has made significant changes to how WebCore works (resource loading, sandboxing, multi-process, etc) and those take time to get right on other platforms.