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Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Google Releases Chrome for Mac, Linux, Opens "Living Stories"

Google on Tuesday released a version of its Chrome Web browser for Macintosh and Linux computers. The company also unveilled plans to release a new way to present news stories online.

Chrome browser for MAc, Linux systems In an effort to challenge the Safari software Apple offers users of its machines, Google released a Beta version of its Chrome browser for Macs.

"We took a hefty dose of goodness from the Windows version to build a fast, polished browser for Mac -- with features such as the Omnibox (where you can both search and type in addresses), themes from artists, and most importantly, speed," John Grabowski and Mike Pinkerton, Software Engineers, Google Chrome wrote in a blog.

Google's engineers also took care to make Google Chrome a native application for Mac. For example, they integrated the Keychain into Google Chrome for Mac, and incorporated Mac-style animations when users open the Bookmarks bar.

In bringing the Mac version of Google Chrome from its developer stages to a beta standard, Google returned to the core principles of the Chromium project and focused on delivering depth in a few critical areas for the browser, rather than a breadth of features that are rough around the edges. This first beta release for Mac does not yet incorporate extensions, bookmark sync, bookmark manager, and cookie manager. However, Google focused on features such as sandboxing their renderer process to help provide a safer web experience.

Users can give Google Chrome for Mac a try here.

Google Chrome for Linux (Beta)

Google also relesed another Beta version of Google Chrome for Linux. Just like Google Chrome for Windows and Mac, Google says they have focused on speed, stability and security, but they have also tried to create a high-performance browser that integrated well with the Linux ecosystem. This includes tight integration with native GTK themes, updates that are managed by the standard system package manager, and many other features that fit in natively with the operating system where possible.

More than 50 open source contributors have worked on Chromium and they've been especially helpful on delivering our Linux version of Google Chrome, the company said.

Users on a PC or a Linux machine can also check out more than 300 extensions in the gallery, including a few cool, useful and cute extensions. Extensions aren't quite beta-quality on Mac yet, but users will be able to preview them on a developer channel soon.

Living Stories

Google is also trying to offer major online newspapers a way to keep their work online without having to charge for news.

Today, on Google Labs, Google is unveiling a partnership with two world-class news organizations: The News York Times and The Washington Post. The copmpanies agreed on the development of the "Living Stories prototype, which features new ways to interact with news and the quality of reporting someone come to expect from the reporters and editors at The Post and The Times. Googe plans to eventually make these tools available to any publisher that wants to use them.

"The idea behind Living Stories is to experiment with a different format for presenting news coverage online," Neha Singh, Google's software engineer, and Josh Cohen, senior business product manager wrote in a blog.

A typical newspaper article leads with the most important and interesting news, and follows with additional information of decreasing importance. Information from prior coverage is often repeated with each new online article, and the same article is presented to everyone regardless of whether they already read it. Living Stories try a different approach that plays to certain unique advantages of online publishing. They unify coverage on a single, dynamic page with a consistent URL. They organize information by developments in the story. They call users' attention to changes in the story since they last viewed it so they can easily find the new material.

"Through a succinct summary of the whole story and regular updates, they offer a different online approach to balancing the overview with depth and context," Google added.

Google is asking for feedback and comments from news readers and news organizations related to the Living Stories.

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