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If you prefer Google’s Chrome over Apple’s Safari on your Mac desktops and notebooks, good news: the search monster yesterday updated the browser with a few new features that help restrict kids’ use of the Internet while boosting their parents’ protection from malware.

I was instantly sold on the incredibly useful noisy tab indicators that make it easier to figure out which tab sound is coming from.

Now, why didn’t I think of that? Chrome 32 for Mac, Windows and Linux is now available for download and there’s a detailed description of the new features right below…

Glance over your open tabs in Chrome 32 and you should see a tiny icon on the tab that produces sound. This is quite handy if you keep a few dozen tabs open and can’t figure out which YouTube tab your music is streaming from.

I can also imagine it being especially useful when certain websites (ahem) hijack your browser and play video “promos” in the background.

Here are the new tab indicators.

Google 32 (noisy tab indicators, sound)
Gotcha! Here’s the noisy offender.

Google 32 (noisy tab indicators, webcam)
Using your webcam.

Google 32 (noisy tab indicators, video)
Streaming to your TV using Chromecast.

I love this feature a lot – simple but needed.

If only there was a way to make each tab mutable by clicking the little speaker icon. Or better yet, give us an option to disable all autoplay on load.

Next up is something called a supervised user feature. What’s that? Basically a parental restrictions mode where you can allow or block certain websites and manage permissions for the web page your junior (or tech-illiterate Mom) has requested to view.

Chrome 32 (supervised users, Mac screenshot 001)

A supervised user can sign in to websites, but can’t install extensions or apps from the Chrome Web Store. It’s cool that a supervised user doesn’t need a Google Account, or even an email address for that matter.

Creating a supervised user in Chrome is not the same as adding another user on your operating system.

A supervised user is an additional Chrome user, and can close the supervised user windows and access other Chrome users available on the computer.

If you are the manager of a supervised user, you can always remove your own Chrome profile from the computer or sign out of Chrome before handing it off to a supervised user.

The manager (you) creates a profile for the supervised user (your kid or whatever) through your own Google Account, here’s how.

Step 1: Hit the Chrome menu and select Settings.

Step 2: In the Users section, click ‘Add new user’.

Step 3: Choose an optional profile picture and enter a name for the supervised user

Step 4: Tick  the ‘This is a supervised user managed by <your email address>’ box. If the checkbox is greyed out, just sign in to Chrome with your Google Account.

Chrome 32 (supervised user dashboard, screenshot 001)

The dashboard – you can see it right above – not only gives you a peek into the supervised user’s browsing history, you can also block specific websites and approve ones your children are allowed to see.

SafeSearch is turned on by default for supervised users.

The best bit: the dashboard is a web app so it’s accessible from any browser.

I want that thing in the mobile version!

And the last new feature: stronger malware protection.

justnofication

If you see this message in the download tray at the bottom of your screen, just click Dismiss “knowing that Chrome is working to keep you safe”, Google explains.

Unfortunately, Google didn’t bother to optimize Chrome for new power-saving technologies in OS X Mavericks (or Snow Leopard, for that matter) so the browser still drains your MacBook’s battery fast and kicks that fan into overdrive.

Until that gets sorted out, I’m using Safari on the road.

Google actually launched these features in Chrome Developer Edition back in November and now they’re available to everyone via the latest stable Chrome release.

Do you use Chrome for Mac?

Is Google outgunning Apple in terms of desktop browsers?

  • Markus Hudobnik

    chrome makes my macbook pro reallllllllllllly hot.

    i can play intensive games and my mac won’t get too hot, but chrome makes the fans go on and everything

    • Cameron Chao

      Firefox for mac FTW.

      • Carlos Gomes

        Not on my MBA with Mavericks.
        Compared to Safari and Chrome, Firefox is an energy hog.

      • Cameron Chao

        how can you tell? im rather new to mac.

      • Carlos Gomes

        CMD + Space, Open ‘Activity Monitor’ and check the Energy Tab.
        This is an amazingly useful tool to keep track of your battery usage if you’re outside.

      • Vishnu GR

        Chrome is like an OS within another OS. Nothing beats chrome

      • Vitaliy Anonymous

        I love Firefox for one big reason. OpenDownload. I’m able to run .dmg files rather than saving them.

        Of course people might say that it still saves it, or that it is not safe, but I’d rather have Firefox save it into some temporary folder than junk up my downloads folder.

      • Cameron Chao

        i love its customization and adblock works alot better too.

      • Vitaliy Anonymous

        That too. I can right click on more elements and block it on Firefox than I could with Google Chrome. The customization is a huge thing too. I also really like the about:config page.

    • sh1ny

      Safari?

    • Shivam Sinha

      Safari forever!

    • Osama Muhammed

      only if they make the pinch with two fingers to zoom safari-like, that would be great

    • I am Correct

      Just get rid of your Macbook Pro and get a better laptop that works with Chrome.

  • Kareem Michel

    I’m gonna stick to Safari…

    • spencer page

      Safari, coupled with Sophos Anti-virus free that stops users from accessing malware infested websites, is perfect for me. Plus it’s very integrated with my iPhone and I enjoy the simplicity.

  • Past0rB

    I like Chrome and Safari to tell the truth. But the deep Google account integration makes Chrome my go-to browser. Nice to know about the update.

  • CollegiateLad

    Do I use Chrome for Mac? Like usual, I download stuff to see what the fuss is about, but I always forget about it within a few hours and return to Safari.

  • Phil Randle

    Switched to Safari when they went with the unified menu bar last year, its fast and does the job quite well, also syncs all my bookmarks easily to everything I use. No need for Chrome.

    • CollegiateLad

      This… And it doesn’t turn your computer into a toaster oven.

  • Ahmed

    Safari is 64-bit, Chrome is not. Should I say more?

    • Cameron Chao

      yes, like what benefits is there?

    • Vitaliy Anonymous

      Not really much benefits. If it uses more than 3GB of RAM (that’s some horrible memory leak), then 64bit it useful. Or if it runs HD HTML5 games that take up a lot of RAM.

    • Blip dude

      So in other words, no difference, just preference. I’ve had no issues with Chrome, I’ve had plenty with Safari. I think I’ll stick with 32-bit on this one.

  • marcus1324

    I think the only reason I am using Safari still is because of iCloud Tabs which I never use and also mainly the synced bookmarks which I also never use. Moral of the story I just like using Apple stuff although I have to admit the extensions for Chrome are really nice. I wish Safari had that.

  • Fahad

    Just one thing… I want Adblock Plus for Safari. They have been talking about making a version for Safari for ages… but I haven’t seen the public release of it yet. : The regular Adblock for Safari doesn’t block YouTube adverts, which really bothers me.

    • Carlos Gomes

      Install Youtube Center.

      • marcus1324

        Thank you

    • Vitaliy Anonymous

      Safari is closed source IIRC. They cannot tap into the source code and disable advertisements that easily.

  • Matthew

    If Chrome thinks something is malware and it isn’t, is there a way to let it download anyways?

  • 123bob

    I use Firefox because it’s open source and privacy-friendly but it’s ugly so I use a skin called FXchrome for Firefox to look like chrome.

  • Raashid

    Nice, now waiting for Pinch Zoom and Emoji support to be stable…like other browsers have had for years.