Google nears Chrome Mac beta release

Only eight bugs block beta, but several features will be AWOL

Google is closing in on a beta for the Mac version of its Chrome browser, according to a list of still-to-be-addressed issues.

Just eight bugs are holding up the release of Chrome for the Mac, Google's bug tracking database showed Monday morning. Of the eight, only two are marked as Priority 1: Both involve crashes when the browser tries to render content for Adobe's Flash media format.

Three weeks ago, a product manager on the Chrome team said that Google would deliver a beta for the Mac in early December .

But several features available to Windows users of Chrome will not make it into the Mac beta. As TechCrunch first reported in a story published Monday, they include the bookmark manager, App Mode and bookmark synchronization. The beta will also not include support for extensions, a feature enabled in the Windows edition, although Google has yet to take its official extension gallery public .

"No extensions for beta," tweeted Mike Pinkerton, a technical lead for Chrome on the Mac late Sunday. "But we'll get them soon. Must draw the line somewhere." Besides working on Chrome for the Mac, Pinkerton also contributes to Camino , the Mac-only browser built atop the Gecko rendering engine created by Mozilla that's also the foundation for Firefox.

According to a comprehensive list of bugs that won't be addressed in time to put fixes in the beta -- which is tagged as Milestone 4 -- Google will add features such as in-line PDF rendering, the Task Manager and an interface for browsing and removing saved passwords in the next milestone.

Google brought the Windows version of Chrome out of beta in mid-September, but has not produced a beta for either Mac or Linux. Self-styled "developer channel" editions of Chrome on Mac and Linux were released last June, but Google has warned off casual users from those potentially-unstable versions.

In October, Chrome accounted for an estimated 3.6% share of all browsers, according to Web metrics company Net Applications. Net Applications will release its November data tomorrow.

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Gregg Keizer

Computerworld (US)
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