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Extensions return to Chrome for Mac

The Mac and Linux incarnations of Chrome reach beta stage--beating out Windows to the 5.0 version of the open-source browser.

Google released a new version of Chrome for Mac OS X on Thursday that restores a key feature, extensions, that had been missing for weeks.

"With this new version, you'll be able to install any of over 2,200 extensions (and counting!) currently available in Chrome's extensions gallery," said Chrome programmer Mark Mentovai in a blog post Thursday. Extensions are a key asset for one big rival browser, Firefox.

Curiously, the beta version--5.0.307.2 for Mac OS X and Linux as well--made it to beta status earlier than the Windows version, which is still a more raw developer-preview incarnation. Google plans to bring the Mac, Linux, and Windows versions to feature parity with version 5, said spokesman Eitan Bencuya. "If we brought [the Mac and Linux versions] to beta on 4, then to stable on 4, then the Windows version would be speeding ahead on 5.0," he said.

The new version (download here) also catches the Mac version up with Windows by adding support for bookmark synchronization and management interfaces for bookmarks, cookies, and tasks, according to Chrome program manager Mark Larson in a separate blog post.

Also new are some stability improvements with Adobe Systems' Flash and some new multitouch support, Google said.