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Chrome 5 Arrives, Mac, Linux Versions Now Available

Google has updated its Chrome web browser to version 5.0, and, perhaps more importantly, given the ready-for-prime-time blessing to the Mac and Linux versions of Chrome. Previously versions of Chrome for Mac and Linux were limited to beta and developer builds.

To update to Chrome 5, head over to the Google download page and grab a copy for Windows, Mac or Linux.

Chrome 5 brings a number of new features to the table, including some major speed gains, more HTML5 features, like drag-and-drop support and the geolocation API, a much improved bookmark syncing and management tool and a new set of privacy controls.

For more details on everything that’s new in Chrome 5, see our review of the beta release earlier this year.

If you’ve been using the Chrome beta or developer builds there isn’t anything new to see in the official version, but the bugs should be gone and Chrome 5 is now ready the same across all platforms.

In a post on the official Google blog the Chrome team reports that “the Mac and Linux versions [have] caught up with the Windows version.”

One feature you won’t find in this release is the integrated Flash plugin that Google is working on. By adding Flash to Chrome Google plans to make it easier to keep users up-to-date with Flash patches, but so far that feature hasn’t made it to the official versions yet.

On the Mac side Chrome now sports a more polished UI and has a few tricks you won’t find in Apple’s Safari (Mac’s default WebKit-based browser) such as a full-screen mode, integrated bookmark syncing, and of course support for extensions.

We should also note that Mac beta users will be automatically updated to the stable version, so if you want to stick with the beta channel you’ll need to download it again after you’ve updated to stable.

Chrome’s Linux release now sports a GTK+ theme and is available as a .deb or .rpm for most Debian-based systems. The Ubuntu-centric website OMGUbuntu reports that Chrome, and its open source sibling Chromium, already account for over 36 percent of the site’s Linux visitors.

Globally Chrome’s market share hovers between 5 and 6 percent of the browser market, depending on which set of polling numbers you want to believe.

Now that Chrome is stable and has feature parity across operating systems look for that number to continue growing thanks to Chrome’s blazing speed and more mature feature-set.

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