Google has begun rolling out native 64-bit builds of Chrome to Mac OS X users on the beta channel.
But while Windows users have to manually opt in to a compatible digital modernity, anyone running a compatible Mac will find themselves automatically, and silently, enrolled into the 64-bit release programme.
The switch brings a number of technical benefits to the table, including ‘access to a superior instruction set’ with more registers and efficient function calling. But for most of us the only visible change we’ll notice will be in improved responsiveness, less Dock icon bouncing and better memory handling.
“While doubling the number of bits won’t make things twice as good, it does allow us to make a number of speed and security improvements,” Google explains on the Chromium blog.
Naturally, 32-bit NPAPI plugins will no longer work in these newer builds, though 64-bit versions of most well known plugins, including Java, are readily available. NPAPI usage is in decline and Google plans to remove support for it from Chrome entirely by the end of the year.