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No, not really. Stainless is a multi-process OS X browser inspired by Google Chrome. If you haven’t heard of Chrome Google Chrome - A New Chapter in Browser History? Google Chrome - A New Chapter in Browser History? Read More – well, it is only the most popular, latest addition from Google to the existing line of internet browsers. Unlike other browsers like Firefox, Safari and Opera that try to surpass each other with cool new features and an endless repository of plugins, Google decided that their new browser would be a little different from the mainstream browsers.

It is revolutionary because they simplified it.

They stripped the User Interface down to its bare essentials; made it snappier, more efficient and sophisticated on the inside; then delivered it to the public. And we love it. When I say “we”, I actually mean “they”. That’s because I use a Mac and Google hasn’t quite got the OS X version of Chrome up to speed yet. However, all Mac users can rest assured that they are working on it.

So as usual, Mac users will have to wait it out while everyone else on Windows enjoy their new toy. Luckily, a small group of developers came up with an imitation of Chrome, a Chrome-sque browser if you will, for OS X.

Although it is merely a technological demo, there are 3 words I can utter about Stainless. It has potential – and I’m not the only one who shares this opinion. Most of us who have taken Stainless for a ride will agree that it is quite usable, considering that it is still in its very early stages of development. I’m guessing that it is because it is inspired by Chrome, it is a fair bit more stable, quicker and simpler to use – and that appeals to most people who are stuck with the productivity-driven mindset of “Do more with less time”.

So how does Stainless compare to Chrome? I have no idea. I refuse to run Chrome on Windows or try Crossover Chromium. I want to maintain that purity of excitement and amazement when I run Chrome of OS X for the first time after Google is ready to dish it to us. For the time being, Stainless is the furthest I will ever get to Chrome.


From the screenshots, I assume that Stainless looks a bit like Chrome. It has a very simple user interface: separate address bars for each tab, forward/back/refresh buttons and a New Tab plus (+) sign. Like Chrome, it also comes with its own Process Manager and because it is a multi-process browser, that means each separate browser tab is actually an individual process (not a collective one like Safari, for instance). If a particular tab is irresponsive, you can close that tab without affecting others. This also means that performance is increased since each browser tab is processed separately.

Surfing is noticeably more responsive and quicker. The whole browser ‘feels’ lighter than Safari, definitely. There is also an option to open a Private Browsing Window where no history, cache or other information are stored. Personally, I don’t see the point of the private browsing mode for the time being – I don’t think Stainless stores browsing history just yet! It doesn’t even have a bookmark manager and it isn’t integrated with Keychain so usernames and passwords aren’t stored.

Overall, Stainless has managed to impress me, even if it is only a demo. I can’t even begin to fathom what Google Chrome on OS X is capable of.

If you want to take Stainless for a spin, you can download it here. Take note, it is for Leopard only. For those of you who have actually used Chrome, let me know how Stainless compares. I can only read your experiences since I want to keep myself a Chrome-virgin.

  1. Joe
    March 28, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Great browser. Brushed metal has never worked for me though, I prefer the blue chrome.

  2. CaVeMaNCoLToN
    December 18, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    By Looking at these Screenshots I, a windows User, would actually Rather Have Stainless Purely For the Safari Look.

    • Jackson
      January 20, 2009 at 6:58 am

      That's one for Stainless!

  3. Jon Parshall
    December 2, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    While I appreciate your, ummm, abstinence-based Chromium chastity program, for those folks who are interested in running the (admittedly impure and sullied) Windows version of Chrome on their Macs *right now*, you can get CrossOver Chromium for free right here:

    We're all looking forward to the native version, of course. But who knows when that will show up? ;-)


    -jon parshall-

    • Joe
      December 13, 2008 at 12:33 am

      CrossOver Chromium is crappy, its even worst that the worst osx native browser, and, by the way, i find Stainless a very attractive browser, if it only had a bookmark manager and a history panel (that, acording to the offical site, will, surely be added) i would use it as an every day browser. I really like it a lot, nothing to ask to the offical chrome

      • Jon Parshall
        December 16, 2008 at 12:46 pm

        We never intended CrossOver Chromium to be a finished product--it was a proof-of-concept to demonstrate how quickly one can move a piece of Windows software over to the Mac world. It's rough around the edges, for sure. Sorry you don't like it--we've had plenty of other people who use it pretty contentedly, though.


  4. Theo
    December 2, 2008 at 2:18 am

    Just FYI, the standard beta version of Chrome doesn't have an integrated bookmark manager either. You can get it by signing up for developer updates, but the standard download doesn't include it.

    • Jackson
      December 2, 2008 at 5:39 am

      Very interesting, I didn't know that. So that means that Stainless is about as good as the standard version of Chrome...

  5. Colin Clark
    December 1, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    I'm currently running three different machines with three different OS's and testing lots of different browsers. I have a laptop that runs Linux, An iMac running Leopard, and another laptop running Vista. Leopard is by far my favorite OS, but I find myself using the laptop with Vista more and more, because I just LOVE chrome so much. It really is the fastest and coolest browser out there right now. A close second would be seamonkey, which is an open-source browser built on Mozilla technology. It's become the only browser I use on my Mac. You can change the skin to give it a different appearance, it never crashes, and it seems to run a lot faster than firefox or safari on my Mac. You can check out my reviews at my blog.

  6. Libster
    December 1, 2008 at 9:14 am

    @Marc, Works for me: I have Activity Monitor open and when I close a tab in stainless the process dies (as it should).

  7. Marc
    December 1, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Ive tried it and already something struck me... when you create a tab (child process) and decide to close that tab... the process does not die it stays alive .. barely but it's still there eating at your memory after 4 tabs (3 closed) im at 110mb of memory ... not really what i call snappy now ... when you get to that level of memory used.. the tabs behave weirdly.. like it wont close for several seconds after you closed it...

    i will give it to them for the try and effort... but it's definitely not making me use it over firefox or safari

  8. hayden
    December 1, 2008 at 2:53 am

    iCab is pretty damned fast too

  9. Jackson
    December 1, 2008 at 1:27 am

    Has anyone considered Shiira to be an alternative browser? The Tab Exposé feature is something I crave for...

    • Litagano
      December 27, 2008 at 3:58 pm

      Shiira was a fantastic browser. I say "was" because the last release was several months ago, and had a fair number of bugs. Development seems to have stopped.

      There's a spiritual successor to Shiira: the Demeter browser. However, it seems to be one man's part-time project, and I can't even get the thing to run.

  10. your other sister
    December 1, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Camino, sister to Firefox, has a small foot print, offers better privacy control and can minimize animated advertising and turn off FLASH as well as manage other intrusive memory grabbing processes and good bookmarking control. It's a great alternative browser.

  11. Bah...
    November 30, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    Why does it have to be leopard only? My ibook G3 500mHz won't take leopard (nor do I really want it) and I'm always looking for ways to up the performance.

    • David Wilson
      December 1, 2008 at 12:13 am

      Leopard brought a *lot* of API changes that programs that are leopard-only can take advantage of to cut down on development time and to increase performance / decrease the likelihood of bugs. It's really not surprising at this point that a new app would choose to be leopard only.

  12. Find Answers As Fast As You Can
    November 30, 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Find Your Answers As quickly as You Can

    Some people want to find answers to their questions as quickly as they can, why not try google?
    Google contains all the content of Yahoo,by this you can find the answers as quickly as you can.
    Have a try now, why not?

  13. Joshua of Refuge Design
    November 30, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    Amazing! Keep it up. Um....just don't give my data to Google and I'll love you!! :D

  14. Jackson
    November 30, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    Haha closest, I mean. Or the furthest I will go to get to it.

  15. Foomandoonian
    November 30, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    'Stainless is the furthest I will ever get to Chrome'

    The *furthest* you will ever get?

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