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Chrome Hits Mac & Linux, Extensions Go Live

Gordon Kelly


Chrome Hits Mac & Linux, Extensions Go Live

It's a Google week... Following the significant announcements of image search and real time search, Google is back at it again with major Chrome news.

Three major breakthroughs are all fighting for your attention here so in no particularly order: Chrome is now available for the Mac and Linux platforms while Google has also finally launched Chrome extensions.

Chrome's arrival on new OSes has taken more than a year since it Windows debut last September and - rather amusingly - it has also appeared on Chrome OS (in fact it pretty much is Chrome OS) ahead of these roll-outs. Still Google claims not to have been sitting idly by with Chrome for Mac notably having been completely rewritten in order to take advantage of Sandbox, Keychain and Mac OS spell checking. As for Linux, it has tight integration with native GTK themes.

Moving onto extensions and these are released for the Windows and Linux beta channel versions of Chrome and could really see things shaken up. Mostly likely to be wooed are Firefox users who adore their add-ons and being web-based Chrome extensions have some significant advantages.

Most notable are that they don't slow down the browser and secondly Chrome doesn't need to restart to install and uninstall extensions which has already encouraged me to try far more extensions that I typically would. In fact, Chrome extensions are very much like Mozilla's Jetpack project for the future of Firefox add-ons.

About 300 extensions are available for Chrome immediately, but with Google claiming they are as easy to make as a web page expect that number to grow quickly. Chrome has taken big steps today and it will be interesting to watch its market share over the coming months...


Official Blog Post


December 9, 2009, 12:00 pm


Quite a few extensions that seem worth trying out too.


December 9, 2009, 1:58 pm

At last! I have been using Firefox for years, tried Chrome when it first came out and found it very stable and extremely quick! However, I do like my extensions and now I have a solid reason to switch!


December 9, 2009, 2:26 pm

Well, that's it then.

I can finally get rid of the memory hog that is Firefox.

Phil 9

December 9, 2009, 3:04 pm

Not sure the Mac release is very stable! The first thing I went to check was performance of Flash when using sites like BBC iPlayer. The Flash plugin crashes every time you right click on any flash movie, not just those from the iPlayer website.

That certainly isn't a good start!


December 9, 2009, 5:12 pm

@WyWyWyWy - I've been using Chrome since it's launch and I really like it. But I would say that Chrome is just as much of a memory hog as Firefox. I'd say that memory usage per tab is higher on Chrome than it is on Firefox, but Chrome handles closing tabs a bit better and actually stays lean over time.

The biggest downside to Chrome though, is Adobe Flash. Adobe Flash is bad enough as it is on IE and Firefox, but on Chrome it can ruin your browsing experience and grind the browser to a halt. Luckily there are extensions for that and I currently have Flash blocked on all site (Extension: FlashBlock). The browser feel so much more snappier when Flash is turned off.


December 9, 2009, 5:32 pm

WyWyWyWy - if you think Firefox is a memory hog, then consider this:


Because of Chrome's "one process per tab" mechanism (which isolates errors and is generally good for security), memory does take a hit.


December 9, 2009, 11:29 pm

I don't think the average user cares about how much memory is used. They just want a browser that doesn't get sluggish as more tabs and content are loaded. Chrome offers this. Firefox rendering is fine, and relatively quick, but the interface, clicking buttons, searching, navigating menus is painfully sluggish. Even dragging tabs into new windows is not as smooth as Chrome.

Until Firefox fixes it's interface, it's going to keep losing market share to Chrome. At this point it isn't haemorrhaging users, but trickles turn to floods...


December 10, 2009, 4:27 am

I've been using chrome more and more lately, and with the addition of extensions I've pretty much shifted completely. It just feels a lot more responsive than firefox to me. All it needs is a firebug equivalent and I will no longer have a reason to use firefox!

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