Since I have been having some performance issues with Firefox 3.1.2 on my Windows XP laptop, I switched to using Google Chrome experimentally, to see if it was some issues with my hardware or just something I picked up from upgrading to a newer version of Firefox. During the experiment, I grew to love the snappy performance of Google Chrome on my Centrino Dell laptop. It seemed to just start without much hesitation and it would quickly chew through my browsing history as I am typing a URL, without the hiccup that Firefox seems to go through at startup.
Naturally when I went back to using my MacBook running Leopard 10.5.8 I felt that I was missing something. Even though browsing the net with Firefox on the MacBook was generally pretty snappy, I felt a longing for something similar to the Chrome experience on Windows XP. Since I heard that the Chromium team was releasing experimental builds for Chrome on Mac OS X, I thought I would download it and check it out.
I went to the Chromium website and downloaded a zip file containing the latest build of Chromium (version 188.8.131.52 (29381)). I unzipped the file and run it from the folder on the desktop and it asked to be the default browser, so I let it be the default browser. After that, I decided to move it from the desktop to the Application folder and just put a link in the Dock so I can run it without having to search through the folder.
Keeping in mind that this was an experimental build, I was prepared to encounter some bugs and crashes, but so far I have not found any serious ones. The only thing I have noticed is that it makes my MacBook spin the fan hard whenever Flash content was encountered. While this could be a bug in Chromium for Mac OS X, having worked with the Flash player for a while and having witnessed its voracious appetite for system resources on OS X, I am not at all surprised if the bug is in the Flash player itself rather than in the Chromium browser.
All I can say is that this build of Chromium is almost ready for prime time and I have been using it daily for the last four weeks without any major issues. It kind of makes me forget to use Firefox and Stainless for a while. It would be really nice, though, to be able to import all your settings (cookies, bookmarks and all) from Firefox into Chromium.