If you use a Mac and have been looking forward to an OS X version of Google’s Chrome browser, your patience is about to be rewarded. As TechCrunch’s MG Siegler reports, the Chrome team is stomping out the final handful of bugs it’s planning to eradicate before it ships its first OS X beta. I’ve been waiting for the beta for fifteen months, since the arrival of Chrome for Windows and the first word that a Mac version was in the works.
But MG’s story left me feeling kind of glum about Chrome for OS X. He details some of the features that the first beta will lack, at least in complete form:
- The bookmark manager
- App Mode, which lets you launch Web apps such as Gmail in streamlined browser frames from a desktop icon
- Gears, the Google technology that lets Gmail, Remember the Milk, and other Web services work even when you’re disconnected from the Web
- Full-screen mode
- Bookmark syncing
- Extension support
And I’ve already grumbled about the fact that Chrome for OS X inexplicably needs nine menus to accomplish what Chrome for Windows does in two of ‘em. Basically, it looks like multiple things that I thought made Chrome Chrome will be missing from its Mac incarnation.
I don’t mean to be too churlish–especially since some of the missing stuff may get added back in before Mac Chrome leaves beta status and becomes an officially shipping project. I’d love to see Chrome reach feature parity on both platforms soon, in the way that Firefox is just Firefox, whether you’re in Windows, OS X, or Linux. Or at least to get the word that parity is the long-term goal.
For now, Chrome is my main browser when I’m in Windows (which I am the majority of the time at the moment) and I’ll still reach for Safari when I’m on a Mac. I’m okay with that, since I tend to be a promiscuous browser user anyhow. (I’ve also gone through Firefox and Flock periods recently, and dabble in Opera from time to time.)
But if you’d told me fifteen months ago that it would still be unclear in late 2009 when Mac users would get all of Chrome’s goodness, I would never have believed you…