Chrome for the Mac has lost its beta label, Google considering it ripe for primetime.

In market-share terms, the browser has also sped past Safari, largely due to its uptake on Windows. But how does the app fare on the Mac?

The answer is: very well. In fact, with one exception, Chrome hits a home run in every major area of importance for a web browser.

First and foremost, it's stable. Total crashes are incredibly rare, because each tab is a separate process. If a tab crashes, the rest soldier on.

WebKit

The browser is also standards-compliant and very fast, since it uses WebKit – the same core as Safari.

Chrome is extensible, with many useful plug-ins available, and it's simple to use. The interface is intuitive and efficient, notably the combined address and search bar (something we wish Apple would steal).

The browser's ability to define keyword shortcuts for search engines is another plus over Safari.

Although more Mac-like than Firefox, Chrome nonetheless has some poor interface elements, such as its skinny, hard-to-hit title bar, tabs that are just a few pixels wide when many are open, and a status bar that can't be made permanent and crops the address of the link you're hovering over.

But the good far outweighs the bad in Chrome, to the point that it's now the Mac's best browser.

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