There have been a bunch of Google events recently, covering a range of products, but the same question seems to rise above all others at each of them: When is Chrome coming for the Mac? Even Sergey Brin is asking it. Google has committed to getting the browser running on OS X sometime this year, but after several months in development, it’s still isn’t ready. Today, we get a nice, bland update from Google: “Google Chrome for the Mac is coming along fine,” says a post on the Google Blog.
The same post points to a more in-depth post on the Chromium Blog which discusses getting sandboxing working on the Mac version. Sandboxing is a security measure Chrome uses to allow to allow it to render sites and run applications without the possibility of harming your overall computing environment in the case of an attack through the web. Apparently, such a technique was tricky to set up for Windows, but it’s much simpler to set up for the Mac and Linux versions of Chrome. Google has posted more information about it here.
So that’s another feature of Chrome that looks good to go on the Mac. I’ve been running the most up to date Chromium builds on my Mac for a while, and it does look like it’s getting close. Certain things though, are still not ready for prime time. While most pages seem to be rendering nicely, and most apps like Gmail not only run, but are very fast, things like Flash implementation isn’t yet a go.
It seems a bit surprising that it’s taken this long for Google to get it working perfectly on the Mac, especially considering that the man behind the excellent Camino browser (a Mac-only browser built by Mozilla) is leading the project for Google. But the keyword is “perfectly” — as Google notes, “It’s important to us that the Mac port of Chromium feels and performs like a native Mac application, and that it provides the kind of high-quality experience Mac users expect.”