Google Chrome Mac LogoWe’ve been waiting and waiting for Google Chrome to come out for the Mac and, unfortunately, we have to wait some more. Unless, that is, you are adventurous. If you are, you can download Google Chromium; the development version of Google Chrome for Mac.

The good news here is that Google Chromium works pretty well. I’ve been running it for a few days with no crashes. It seems speedy, renders pages well and really impressed me for a pre-alpha browser.

The bad news is it’s still largely in development. There are a lot of missing and incomplete items. It’s no where near ready for prime time, but it is fun to play with and works well with Ajax heavy sites.

Here are a few Google Chromium features and incomplete items; as of today.

  • Each tab is a separate process, however the activity viewer says they are all ‘not responding’ when they actually are.  Just ignore Google Chromium in the activity viewer for now.
  • Spell check works for text fields, but not single line input boxes.
  • You can bookmark pages, but you can’t un-bookmark them.
  • No plug-ins work.  This includes Flash, however I think that makes the browsing experience better at times.
  • It can download files, but shows no download window or progress bar.
  • The find bar works well, but scrolls badly.
  • Pages load pretty fast, except for every now and again when it get stuck waiting to connect to a site.  Not sure why that’s happening.
  • It looks very pretty.  I love the Google take on the browser.  The tabs even animate when you open a new tab.
  • Has a great built in source code viewer with color coded HTML and line numbers.
  • Comes with a handy debug feature much like Firebug or Safari’s web inspector.  Actually I think it’s exactly like Safari’s.
  • You can drag and drop tabs.
  • Incognito, or private browsing, works, but lacks the cool little incognito icon.
  • You can search Google from the address bar.  It also gives you Google search results and browsing history in the address bar which are very handy.
  • Your history is saved and displayed beautifully in the browser.  It’s separated by date and shows favicons to help jog your memory.
  • Has the cool Google Chrome start page with bookmarks, search history, recently closed tabs and most visited sites.

There are a lot of cool features in Google Chromium and I can’t wait for a beta to come out.  However, that could be months away if not longer.  I’d love to say it’s coming at WWDC, but I highly doubt that based on the development builds.

With that said, the development builds of Google Chromium are coming along very nicely.  You can download yours here (scroll down to the last folder in the list) and take it for a test drive yourself.  New builds are being added almost hourly it seems which means that Google is working hard on getting Google Chrome for Mac ready for the public.

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