Fast, secure 64-bit support comes to Google Chrome on the Mac in beta form

download-hero-win-783x310

If you’re a Chrome user, good news: the latest beta version of Google’s excellent web browser finally takes full-advantage of the speed and performance boosts of your Mac’s 64-bit chip. Prepare for a speedier, more stable web browsing experience. And more new features besides.

Today, Google has announced the release of Chrome 38 beta for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Here’s what is new.

First up, in the latest Chrome beta, you can now switch user profiles straight from the window title bar. This should make it easier for you to juggle between multiple Chrome bookmarks and extensions if you share a computer with a family or friend. Personally, I think the button’s a pretty huge waste of real estate if you never switch profiles, but this is a beta, so things may change.

There’s also a new guest mode, which lets people use your browser without impacting your bookmarks or history.

Another important new addition to Chrome is 64-bit support. Although Chrome has had 64-bit in its Canary alpha channel for a while, this is the first time it’s hit the beta channel… and Google says 64-bit makes browsing on the Mac much faster and secure.

64-bit Chrome has become faster as a result of having access to a superior instruction set, more registers, and a more efficient function calling convention. Improved opportunities for ASLR enhance this version’s security. Another major benefit of this change comes from the fact that most programs on a modern Mac are already 64-bit apps.

In cases where Chrome was the last remaining 32-bit app, there were launch-time and memory-footprint penalties as 32-bit copies of all of the system libraries needed to be loaded to support Chrome. Now that Chrome’s a 64-bit app too, we expect you’ll find that it launches more quickly and that overall system memory use decreases.

If you want to try the new Google Chrome beta, all you have to do is grab it from the beta channel. Want to wait until the kinks get worked out? Google 38 should be hitting this September.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News | Tagged: , , , |