Following up on our earlier coverage of Google’s Chrome browser for OS X Lion, it looks like development is moving along faster than expected. Specifically, swiping gesture support has already been fully implemented (in the right direction now too), and now a proper full screen mode has hit the Canary build of the browser as well.
Shortly after Lion’s launch a few weeks ago, we noted the Chrome was working, but it was a bit wonky. Because Lion changed some gestures by default, page swiping was broken. And Chrome’s own full screen mode wasn’t truly compatible with the functionality that’s built into Lion. No less than Chrome SVP Sundar Pichai said that Google was working on the issues, but noted that “it will take some time”.
In the weeks since, the dev and beta builds of Chrome has been pretty unreliable, constantly crashing. This has pushed a number of Chrome for Mac users over to Safari, Apple’s own browser. But if this latest Canary build of Chrome is any indication, Google is pushing hard to get Chrome back up to speed on the Mac.
As first noticed by MacStories, full screen support is now fully baked into Chrome Canary. And it’s brilliant. There had been some debate as to whether the functionality should work like it previously did — with absolutely no browser chrome (lowercase) showing — or if it should work like Safari, and show tabs when in full screen? Well, Google implemented it both ways. By default, when you enter full screen, you’ll see the tabs, but a new “curtain” button removes the tabs to get you a true full screen experience. (The tabs will still pop down when you hover over the top of the screen.)
Gesture-based page-swiping was fixed a couple weeks ago, but Google implemented it backwards, when compared to Safari. As you can see in the Chromium boards, our story flagged the issue for the team, and they quickly fixed it.
The latest version of Chrome in the Canary channel is 15. Chrome’s dev builds are still at 14, so the 15 changes should hit soon. Then it will be a few weeks before it rolls out over all of the Chrome channels. But rest assured, a fully Lion-compliant Chrome is on the way.