Google Chrome for Mac - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Google Chrome for Mac

CNET Editors' review

Chrome is the lightweight flagship browser that originated from an open source project by Google called Chromium and Chromium OS. It is now one of the more widely used browsers thanks to a vast ecosystem of extensions and add-ons, a robust Javascript engine, and a rapid-release development cycle that keeps it on the competitive end of the curve.

Installation

Chrome's installation process is both straight-forward and self-sustaining. After downloading the installer, Chrome's installation process will launch with the standard practices of confirming system directories and a few click throughs. Google will also ask for your permission to anonymously collect usage stats, which can be opted out of.

The self sustenance comes from 'channels' ; Once you install the Chrome browser, Google will automatically roll out updates silently in the background and keep your software updated with the latest versions.

Interface

Chrome's overall UI has remained stable since version 1.0: a minimal two row window with tabs resting above the address bar (Omnibox), 3 browser controls (Back, Forward, Stop/Reload), a star-shaped toggle for bookmarking, and settings icon. Users coming from older browsers might have to get used to not having a dedicated File menu layout but we found ourselves getting quickly adjusted.

As you install extensions, active icons will appear to the right of the address bar, but beyond that Google maintains strict restrictions on adding visible add-ons. That means no toolbars or any undesired overlays, which at one point was a widespread standard practice. Despite the limited customiseable options, Chrome is minimalist for a reason, and that results in a clean browsing experience with maximum use of screen estate for websites.

Features and Support

In addition to tabbed browsing, Chrome can be used as simply or as complex as you want, thanks to an impressive number of built-in tools, modes, hotkey functions, and more.

One popular feature is, of course, Incognito mode: Chrome's response to Mozilla's Private Browsing feature. Incognito opens a new window that disables history recording, tracking cookies, and reduces the amount of traceable breadcrumbs from your usage. Contrary to popular belief, it does not mean you can freely browse the web for illegal use as your ISP can still see your traffic activity... so stay out of trouble.

Under the hood, Chrome has some awesome features that make it very developer friendly: hardware acceleration for rendering 3D CSS effects, Google's own NaCl (Native Client) that allows secure execution of C and C++ codes within the browser, and an in house JavaScript engine that improves load times with every release.

Pressing F12 will open a dev console that allows you to view web code and quickly identify elements simply by highlighting the mouse over each line. You can also add your own HTML and CSS codes to render a page with custom styling.

Chrome also allows Google users to sync their accounts, which comes with added benefits like restoring saved bookmarks and extensions in the cloud no matter what device you're on.

Performance

Chrome is fast. Really fast. As of version 27, Chrome is powered by Google's own V8 JavaScript engine that renders pages at speeds that have been setting a standard for modern browsers. In addition, Google has been on the forefront of implementing best practices for HTML5 standards and though it's also currently running the widely used open-source Webkit engine, Google has also announced plans to move to Blink in the near future.

Wrap up

Google has relentlessly set the standard for speed, stability and security and Chrome's numerous version updates, as many as there are, have continued to complement its minimalist friendly design. It's no surprise that its market share continues to rise, especially when combined with its mobile cousin on Android. Regardless of who's faster, whether its user adoption or Chrome's own development team, Google's internet browser is one for the masses: casual user and developer alike.

More than just speed in Chrome:

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All User Reviews

Results 1-10 of 127

  • 5.0 stars

    "Chrome is always more stable than Safari"

    February 26, 2014  |   By Rage SW

    Version: Google Chrome 33.0.1750.117

    Pros

    I find Chrome to be a lot more stable than Safari especially, not surprisingly, for Google services which I use a lot of (gmail, youtube, etc...)

    I like how Private browser is per browser window rather than for the entire app (like in Safari) as this resets cookie data for websites that are currently opened in browser windows.

    Cons

    Still like the UI of Safari better. Of all the web browsers, Safari just feels more like a Mac app.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "STILL NO 64-BIT VERSION (MAC)"

    November 7, 2013  |   By JCPayne

    Version: Google Chrome 30.0.1599.69

    Pros

    Liked it. Has nice feel to it.

    Cons

    Plugins constantly scream that Chrome for mac isn't 64-bit yet. Surprising that with the billions Google has and the amount of time which has passed that they can't create a 64-bit version for MAC.

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  • 4.0 stars

    "Chrome not supporting Java 7.0 on Macs"

    October 12, 2013  |   By hjhaveri

    Version: Google Chrome 30.0.1599.69

    Pros

    Great browser. It is fast.

    Cons

    Unstable on Macs. Does not support Java 7.0

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  • 3.0 stars

    "I like it so much!"

    August 29, 2013  |   By land11230

    Version: Google Chrome 29.0.1547.62

    Pros

    It's very helpful for me.

    Cons

    No cons in my opinion.

    Summary

    it's such a good browser.

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Very fast and very simple"

    July 16, 2013  |   By Lucygaffney

    Version: Google Chrome 28.0.1500.71

    Pros

    The speed is faster than other browser, also it is very simple and you can read more contents in a friendly way.Also, you can easily install a add-on at its application store.

    Cons

    When I have some bookmarks on it, it keep cracking.

    Summary

    Chrome is the best browser that I have ever used.But for some experience, it is still need to be improved.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "Good browser, unwanted additions."

    June 16, 2013  |  

    Version: Google Chrome 27.0.1453.110

    Pros

    Very fast web page access.
    Good use of book marks when it registers them (see below).

    Cons

    There are many programs and applications installed that I don't trust and don't want to use. I spent a good amount of time cleaning out 'added' programs.
    I re-installed Chrome, and there were still some add-ons that I don't want, and haven't figured out how to remove.
    If this continues, I'm going over to Opera. I've had similar experiences with Mozilla Firefox.
    Another point: Chrome did not add a bookmark to my Bookmark Tool Bar after three attempts.
    I am very frustrated.

    Summary

    Too many unwanted additions.

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  • 3.0 stars

    "A little bit disappointed"

    June 7, 2013  |   By piusag

    Version: Google Chrome 27.0.1453.110

    Pros

    It's relatively fast, solid, and easy to use. It's great to open HTML5 websites (better than Safari).

    Cons

    Chrome is kinda slow on my macbook pro when I use Google search from the address bar. On many occasions, it's just freeze for couple seconds before it displays the search results.

    Summary

    Well I'm not sure if I'm the only one who experiences this laggy performance with Chrome, otherwise it's a solid browser. Many people say it takes a lot of RAM; it's true. But shouldn't really affects your mac if you have 4GB+ memory.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "No good for Mac users - unless you've got lots of RAM"

    June 6, 2013  |   By ntpipgras

    Version: Google Chrome 24.0.1312.57

    Pros

    Tabs, bookmarks, easy linkage with other stuff.

    Cons

    Chrome renderer sucks up RAM. Tired of my Macbook Pro running hot and having to check my monitor all the time. I'm back to Firefox.

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  • 1.0 stars

    "Crashes all the time...Mac users AVOID"

    May 25, 2013  |   By Smoorf

    Version: Google Chrome 27.0.1453.94

    Pros

    Fast...but it crashes all the time so what's the point?

    Cons

    See title. I'm on 10.7.5 and it crashes all the time for no reason. Thought it was Flash but Flash is the latest version.

    Summary

    Apparently Google is doing nothing about this. See thread below: http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/8VisL1VI3lg%5B1-25-false%5D

    Going back to Firefox.

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  • 2.0 stars

    "It's okay browser"

    April 11, 2013  |   By iMercy

    Version: Google Chrome 26.0.1410.65

    Pros

    It is fast. But that's not a plus point of this browser as there are other browsers available which are equally fast, Safari, iCab and Sleipnir and others. People overtly brag about its speed. Chrome does not even stand close to iCab and Sleipnir when it comes to features.

    Cons

    As everybody knows it logs users matrices. It also intrudes in Safari''s settings. When I installed it and ran for the first time i noticed it collected all Safari's history even though I had turned off import Browser history. It shows its bookmarks in Safari's Bookmarks Collection. Chrome should mind its own business.

    All versions 25 and 26 of Chrome show beach balls for sometime. Its a big memory hog when multiple tabs are open.

    Summary

    Have not found anything interesting about this browser.

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Results 1-10 of 127

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