Google Chrome 5.0 Beta released
While the Windows users are enjoying the fourth release of Chrome, and Linux users were happy with extensions support, the Mac users on the beta channel had to be patient, but that is changing now, at least if you dare to use betas.
With Chrome 4.0 for Windows out of the door, it made sense for Google to upgrade all release to version 5.0, even while the Linux and Mac builds haven't seen their 4.0 release. How so? Because Google is still actively working on both releases to get them on par feature wise with the Windows release.
This time the Linux and Mac releases are first, after a beta of Chrome 4.0 there is now a beta of Chrome 5.0, which is basically a step further in maturing it for a final release (for the first time). This release especially puts the Mac platform in the spotlight as most was already available on Linux. First of all the one feature to get excited about is support for extensions. Now you can use the same Windows (and Linux) extensions on your Mac, to enhance your browsing experience, if you want to. Best of all is Google's security architecture, meaning extensions are sand boxed as well as running in separate processes. This in combination with the limitations in the API should prevent malware extensions, which plague Firefox. Another big feature is the bookmarks manager. I know it sounds basic, but it was lagging from 4.0 and has now seen an implementation on the Mac. Oddness is that it's not the same as the Windows version, but native? Other changes include bookmarks sync as well as the task manager and cookie manager.
Site preferences are missing from the Mac release, so you won't be able to tell which sites are allowed to run scripts like the Windows release, but surely this will be picked up at some point in time. My biggest concern is the use of Keychain Access by Chrome though (see issue 35351). This password manager, which is part of Mac OS X, is used by Safari and other applications to store user names and passwords. In Safari this means that after remembering it, the username and password will be automatically pre-filled in forms that match, but in Chrome it does not work like that. On the Mac you'll need to type the entire user name before Chrome fills in the password, and well, sometimes I have different user names, and typing it completely can be a pain. On Windows this problem does not exist and considering Safari just works flawlessly I hope the Chrome developers fix this for the Mac platform.
Other than that, the release feels solid as before, be sure to check it out if you're using a Mac and want something different than Safari, while using the WebKit engine.