Google has admitted that its Chrome browser is the cause of MacBook stability problems, with an incompatibility between the app and the integrated Intel graphics leading to crashes. "Work is proceeding to find and fix the root cause" a Google spokesperson told Gizmodo, though the company does splash a little of the blame onto Apple itself and the way OS X Lion is handling kernel issues.
"Radar bug number 11762608 has been filed with Apple regarding the kernel panics," the Google spokesperson continued, "since it should not be possible for an application to trigger such behavior." Apple is yet to comment on the issue.
Google is taking a two-pronged approach to dealing with the glitch. Chrome users should have already received a patch on Thursday afternoon, that temporarily shuts off some of the browser's use of GPU acceleration on machines with the Intel HD 4000 graphics.
Meanwhile, work is underway to come up with a more lasting fix with full GPU acceleration functionality still in place. There's no timescale for its release, however.
Yesterday, at its second Google IO keynote, Google confirmed that Chrome now has 310m users worldwide, making it the most popular browser around according to all the metrics the search giant said it could find.
"We have identified a leak of graphics resources in the Chrome browser related to the drawing of plugins on Mac OS X. Work is proceeding to find and fix the root cause of the leak.
The resource leak is causing a kernel panic on Mac hardware containing the Intel HD 4000 graphics chip (e.g. the new Macbook Airs). Radar bug number 11762608 has been filed with Apple regarding the kernel panics, since it should not be possible for an application to trigger such behavior.
While the root cause of the leak is being fixed, we are temporarily disabling some of Chrome's GPU acceleration features on the affected hardware via an auto-updated release that went out this afternoon (Thursday June 28). We anticipate further fixes in the coming days which will re-enable many or all of these features on this hardware."