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Chrome for Mac OS X Developer Build: the Review.

Here's another innovation coming on the "new MacStories!"

I'm very happy to announce  a brand new series of guest posts, starting today with my friend Francesco Puppo's review of Chrome for Mac OS X.

You can download the latest developer build of Chrome for Mac here.

Enjoy! ;)

Today I tried Google Chrome for OS X, and my first impressions are pretty good: it's almost fast and light as Safari (maybe even more), packed with a GUI and a simplicity in true Apple's style.

Default Window

Default Window

When opening a new tab, a new page will appear. This homepage shows you the sites you visit most and your recently closed tabs.

It's also possible to lock the pages you prefer, so they will be always there.

Cool.

Pin

Pin

However, you can find this feature also in Safari (Top Sites), and - previously -  in Opera (Speed Dial) and Firefox (available with some plugins).

New Tab Window

New Tab Window

Navigation is excellent, good scrolling quality and fast opening pages. Chrome doesn't have an integrated Ad-Blocker, but I didn’t find any problems using  GlimmerBlocker.

There’s also a fullscreen mode.

Whenever your mouse will end up on a link, it will appear an advice, at the bottom left of the browser, which will display the link’s path.

Shift+Cmd+N opens a new window in "Incognito Mode"; it allows you to surf without leaving any trace in history, in search history and in cookies as well. Obviously your saved files and your created bookmarks will not be deleted.

While in "Incognito Mode" all your windows window will have a dark blue style, with the silhouette of a man wearing a raincoat in the upper right: surely it's fast to recognize.

Incognito Window

Incognito Window

Speaking of colors, something that bothered me  is the impossibility to use the classic light blue color that has always characterized Google products.

It's forced to stay in gray (which is not a problem, looking very similar to OS X style), or you can choose one of the horrible themes that you can find here: but don't be fooled, despite the "Classic" theme is represented with blue colors, once applied in OS X it remains gray.

Always from a GUI standpoint, let's talk about single elements like scrolling bars, which are in Aqua style, looking good with the rest of the system, but not just as in Opera; the tabs at the top of the window can also be criticized in terms of comfortability, but at least they make Google Chrome stand out from the crowd.

For the buttons, we appreciate their simplicity but they must be improved.

Address Bar

Address Bar

Now something about downloads: when you download a file a bar will appear in the bottom of the window showing the progress of your downloads.

Downloads Bar

Downloads Bar

Moreover, you can also go to the download page (again, just as in Opera).

Downloads Windows

Downloads Windows

Surely negative is the lack of a built-in PDF reader:  it’s quite uncomfortable to download an entire PDF file and read only two lines.

Chrome allows you to choose between a lot of search engines (the search function is included in the address-bar), also opting for alternatives to Google, while with Safari this is not possible, unless you install some plug-ins.

Prefs

Prefs

Chrome for Mac OS X is definitely a great browser, full of potential. The lack of more advanced features might compromise it as a first choice, but as an alternative browser it’s just perfect.

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