As planned, Google has this evening begun rolling out native 64-bit builds of Chrome to Mac users on the stable channel.
Unlike its Windows kin, where a separate download is required, those running a compatible Mac will be automatically updated to the new builds in the background — no input required.
While most will be pleased by the switch in architecture, it comes at a cost to a minority of others.
For the first time since its launch on OS X in 2010, Google Chrome no longer supports 32-bit Intel Macs sold between 2006 and mid-2007.
Affected folks can continue to use Chrome v38 Stable, but should note that they will not receive any future updates.
On the plus side, progress is progress. Doubling the instruction set available should lead to better performance, security and general stability of Google Chrome on OS X here on in. Or, to put it in more familiar terms, you’ll spend less time staring at a bouncing Dock icon and more time enjoying buttery-smooth responsiveness.
32-bit NPAPI plugins will not work in Chrome 39 but since Java, Adobe Flash (included in Chrome) and a few others are already available in 64 bit versions, the hassle should be minimal.
Want in? If you’re running Google Chrome (Stable) chances are you have already been updated. Head to Settings > About to check (look for Chrome 39).
Google Chrome for Mac is also available to download from the Google Chrome website.