Google brought beta versions of its Chrome Web browser to Mac OS X and Linux back in December of 2009, and since then the builds have been struggling to keep up with their Windows counterparts in terms of performance and feature parity. But Google has kept working on the releases, and today announced it is launching “stable” releases of Chrome for Mac and LInux—that’s Chrome’s way of saying they’re no longer “beta.” The new builds are available for free, and pack in new capabilities like bookmark synchronization, HTML 5 features. However, on technology is noticeably missing: Adobe Flash.
Like the Windows versions of Chrome, The Mac and Linux versions aim to offer substantial speed and performance improvements over competing browsers, along with a stripped-down interface and a host of cutting edge technology support. Mac and Linux builds now offer full support for the thousands of extensions that have been developed for Chrome, along with some HTML 5 features like file drag-and-drop, IP geolocation, a local application cache, and web sockets, along with a revamped bookmark manager and the capability to synchronize both bookmarks and browser preferences across machines—including things like startup and home page settings, themes, language prefs, and page zoom settings. The Macintosh version of Chrome requires Mac OS X 10.5 or newer, and only supports Intel-based Macs.
One thing that’s missing from the releases is support for Adobe Flash. Google is currently beta-testing integrating Adobe Flash Player into the Chrome browser, and hopes to bring Flash Player 10.1 to Chrome in the near future.
Google will continue to post newer builds and experiments to its beta channel, so users who want to stay on the browser’s cutting edge can continue to do so. But, for now, Google says Chrome is ready for everyday Mac and Linux users.