Last week, a fellow nerd finally persuaded me to make the switch. I must admit that all those years of IE-bashing had brought me and Firefox ever closer. Simply the idea of a better browser was inconceivable.
Back then, Chrome still lacked the customizability of Firefox. Without Google Chrome add ons and extensions, it just wasn’t enough. That soon changed. Now, almost every Firefox add-on has a Chrome extension counterpart.
So it was time to make the switch. Finally, newfound speed, flexibility – and extensions!
Imagine the disappointment when discovering that Chrome does not support extensions on Mac OS X. Worse, they actually were supported up to December, before Google decided to disable the feature.
Luckily, as of this week, impatient Mac Chrome users can turn to the Dev Channel for a solution.
Google Chrome Dev Channel
Google Chrome passes through two testing channels before being officially released. Most people know about application betas – the rough candidate, one step from release. Beta users can experience some bugs, but for the most part, the application just isn’t as ‘clean’ as you’d expect from a release version.
Before going beta, Google Chrome resides in the Dev Channel. This is the developer playground. Here they’ll try out new features that might or might not be. If they’ve got a wild idea, they’ll first give it a try in the Dev Channel.
Obviously, these are two major steps in the production process. The Dev Channel releases are often very different from final releases; apart from rough edges, a lot of interesting Dev Channel features will never see the daylight of release.
Extension Support – Again!
Earlier this week Google released a Chrome build via the Dev Channel with, once more, support for Google Chrome add ons and extensions. The build also comes with a (still imperfect) bookmark sync, and fixed html5 audio/video streaming issues. More information here.
We usually don’t take too much issue with early builds like this, but you don’t need to be a programmer to install a Dev Channel build. Just point your current browser to the Dev Channel info page.
Scrolling down, you can find the latest Dev channel build (dmg). It’s that easy. Just download and install it like you always do.
With the Dev Channel build up and running, it’s finally time to get yourself some Google Chrome add ons and extensions. Mark recently wrote about 5 Google Chrome Extensions That Could Finally Make Me Switch From Firefox and before that, Saikat talked about his favorite 10 Extensions for Google Chrome.
No need to stop there, though – MakeUseOf hasn’t had a chance to take a look at all the cool extensions yet. In the meantime, you can already visit the Google Chrome Extensions page and have a look around. At the time of writing this article, there are already over 1,300 extensions available. Sure, that’s still far off from Firefox’s mark, but all things considering, they’re making good progress.
Help out your fellow MakeUseOf readers, and let us know your favorite Google Chrome extensions. Don’t be shy, give a shout in the comments section below!