Chrome for Mac is more usable than ever. About time you tried it out again.

Chrome for Mac is more usable than ever. About time you tried it out again.

google-chrome-logoI’ve been test driving the latest Chrome for Mac builds, available for download here. The one area of development I’m happy to say has seen improvements is the bookmarking manager. With the advent of social bookmarking tools, you’d be surprised just how important a browser’s core bookmarking system is – particularly the bookmarks bar.

It’s actually the javascript bookmarklets that have until now, made Chrome unusable for me. I use the Posterous, Friendfeed and many other JS bookmarklets all the time. I’d assume many of you do too, whether you realise it or not. The Chrome for Mac night buildings, or ‘Chromium’, does in fact let you use bookmarklets. Unfortunately, you can’t drag and drop them onto the bookmarks bar just yet but you are able to create new bookmarks on the bar and edit the URL. By doing so, you can actually use any JS bookmarklet out there and what’s more, it’s faster than any other browser I’ve seen.

Picture 9
Along with a decent bookmarks manager, there are definitely many other noticeable missing elements from the latest Chrome builds. Flash generally works, although in many cases you’ll noticed botched pages of the screen where an incompatible flash piece doesn’t play nicely with Chrome. Chrome themes do work for the Mac version of the browser, and some suit Leopard perfectly well, while others don’t complement the Mac UI at all. There are a couple of noticeable bugs, most notably, you’ll be using a web app like Google Reader when suddenly, for no apparent reason, you’re not actively using that window any more, almost as if another window has layered the one you were using – bizarre.

Overall however, you’d be hard pressed to spot any missing ‘must have’ browser features that are common place on other browsers. Sure, you’ll miss the mass of Firefox extensions out there, but they’ll come for Chrome too – its only a matter of time – for the moment, enjoy the raging speed and surprisingly reliable Chrome release available for download here. (These are nightly builds remember, so ensure you go back every couple of days for an update until Google announces an official release.

Read next: Firefox 3.6 Alpha available. New features and improvements.