Mac users can now see the latest features that Google is working into its Chrome browser with the launch of a OS X-friendly version of Canary.
Google Chrome Canary was launched for Windows users in August 2010 and is a regularly updated and often unstable version of the browser where future features are tested out.
Google gathers data from those participating in Canary to discover which new features are unstable and why in order to provide a fix. These new features very often make it into beta and final builds of Chrome.
“The Mac version of Google Chrome Canary follows the same philosophy: it automatically updates more frequently than the Dev channel, and does not undergo any manual testing before each release. Because we expect it to be unstable and, at times, unusable, you can run it concurrently with a Dev, Beta, or Stable version of Google Chrome,” said Mark Mentovai, a software engineer at Google.
Even though Canary runs alongside Chrome, rather than installing itself over it, you can set up Sync in each version of Chrome that you use and automatically continue using the same set of bookmarks, extensions and themes.
However, be warned: “The Canary Build is only for users who want to help test Google Chrome and are comfortable using a highly unstable browser that will often break entirely,” Henry Bridge, Chrome product manager said last year.
Mozilla recently began a similar project called Aurora, though, unlike Chrome Canary, it installs itself over the current Firefox installation, meaning that you will need to uninstall Aurora and reinstall Firefox if you wish to revert to a stable version.