When Google Said No Extensions For Mac Yet, They Meant It

Screen shot 2009-12-08 at 11.12.13 AMAs you’ve no doubt heard by now, the beta versions of Chrome for Mac and Linux launched today (as we anticipated), as did Chrome Extensions (a day earlier than we anticipated). Also as anticipated, extensions are not currently supported in the beta build of Chrome for Mac (though they are for Windows and Linux). But here’s something that’s a little odd: Chrome Extensions have been working in the Mac builds of Chromium (the open-source browser that Chrome is built on) for weeks now, but Google has disabled the ability to install them from the Gallery page even if you’re using Chromium for Mac.

If you visit the Extensions Gallery page from either Chrome for Mac or Chromium for Mac, you’re greeted with a grayed-out “Install” button. Google is clearly just sniffing to see which browser you are using, and if it’s anything on a Mac, they disable the button. But that doesn’t make it any less annoying because if you could find the URL to the actual .crx file, you could install any of the extensions, and they would work. But alas, Mac users are left completely in the dark for now.

In the post on the Chromium Blog, it reads, “We’re launching extensions in the beta channel for Windows and Linux (Mac is in progress).” Meanwhile, the OS X Roadmap page reads that Extension support “In progress, just not in time for beta. Enabled in dev-channel behind flag.” That’s not even true anymore, there is full (but wonky) extension support in the latest builds, and the built-in Extensions Manager is working just fine, you simply need a way to get to the file to install them.

Hopefully some of the extension developers will start posting direct links to their extension files (I’ve confirmed that this still works — for example, here’s Shareaholic, try to install it from Chromium on Mac, it will work). If you want to do that, feel free to in the comments here. That will save me a lot of trouble in digging through code.

Update: Aaron Boodman, a Googler working on Chrome writes in the comments that, “FWIW, we will be re-enabling Chromium support in the gallery soon. That was done not on purpose.

Update 2: In the meantime, here’s a very easy solution.

Screen shot 2009-12-08 at 11.11.23 AM