If you plan to own a Mac featuring Apple’s own hardware (or you’ve already bought one) and you’re a Google Chrome user, then we have good news: a new optimized version of the browser has just been released for Macs featuring the M1 chip. The new version was launched quietly by Google and recently spied by some Mac users — and, of course, the Chrome version with support for Intel models isn’t going anywhere.
Update: The Chrome team has decided to take down the download of M1-native build Chrome. Many users were reporting crashes with this build.
Apple recently unveiled the first Mac models featuring its M1 chip, a plan that was announced months ago. Apple’s silicon replaces the Intel hardware previously used in MacBooks and Mac desktops, offering performance increases and better power efficiency, among other things.
As a number of Mac users have noticed, Google quietly added a special version of Chrome to its browser download page for Mac users — one is listed as for Mac with Intel and the other as ‘Mac with Apple chip.’ The notice, as shown below, includes ‘most common’ below the Intel version, likely to help users who aren’t familiar with the hardware transition.
The new version comes amid the big improvements launching with Chrome 87, including tab prioritization to reduce CPU and battery usage, faster loading on Android, a new tab search functionality that’ll first arrive on Chromebook, and Chrome Actions for common activities like opening an Incognito window and translating pages.
As for the latest and greatest Macs — the ones powered by Apple’s M1 chip — there are currently three options available: the MacBook Pro 13″, MacBook Air, and Mac mini. Aside from the change from Intel hardware and the improvements made possible by the M1 chip, many aspects of the devices remain essentially unchanged.