For months I’ve been using Chromium the open source browser that powers Google Chrome. Using Chromium had its advantages and disadvantages. I had the bleeding edge of what was offered by the Chromium team – whether it was stable or not. But, I also had to manually update my personal copy of Chromium on a nearly daily basis.
Not anymore. I’ve been wanting to switch to the Google Chrome Developer channel (or, the still pretty darned bleed edge releases) for a few weeks but hadn’t had the time to figure out how. After I saw my friend in bleeding edge Chromium releases Justin Blanton take the plunge I began hunting. Turns out, it is pretty easy once you found the right link.
I found this link via the Chromium Blog – but there is an Early Access Release Channels page that explains what each release channel is, its purpose, and how you can get involved. The nice thing about these channels is that these are releases of Google Chrome, not just Chromium, and as such are slightly more stable and refined then the Chromium nightlies I’ve been using. Updating to the next release is also easier in that it happens within the application itself and it continues on the same channel you choose be it beta or developer.
For example, remember how I complained about Chromium’s Bookmark Manager? Remember those hideous buttons? Well, they are much nicer in Google Chrome then they are in Chromium. Take a look at the graphic that shows the difference between the two. Though the action button doesn’t do much (yet) it does fit much nicer into the Mac ecosystem. Obviously the source list on the left is much nicer as well.
Switching from Chromium to Google Chrome was made all the more easy due to Google’s free Bookmark Syncing service. If you’d like to help test the very latest build of Chrome follow the links on that Early Access Release Channels to download your flavor of Chrome based on which channel you’d like.