Do you like to test the latest app features?
Or, you are a tech geek who wants to test hand on cutting edge products before anyone else.
If yes, then try your hand on Chrome Canary to get the feels.
Canary is the testing ground for Google. It is a web browser not meant for general purpose.
I guess there might be several questions rising in your mind. Luckily, we answered them for you.
In this article, we will discuss why you should use Canary and all the things you can do with it.
So without any further ado, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
What is Chrome Canary?
The version of Chrome we generally use is one of the four releases by Google. The other three are Dev, Beta, and Canary. The stable version offers dependable and trustworthy performance. It is because the regular version gets the update after testing the code rigorously.
In contrast, Canary is the most unstable version of Chrome of all. It is because a new update is available at 2 AM PST every day. In technical terms, we call it nightly build. All updates contain the latest state from the source code tree. Google builds and ships the update automatically, without any human intervention, every night.
Chrome Canary contains some unfinished codes as well. That means you can have a bumpy experience while using the browser. There might be bugs coming out every while. Some features might disappear without your notice. Moreover, the browser can crash anytime in the middle of your noodling.
In other words, Canary gets the latest update and features every day, and since it is just out of the oven, we can not guarantee stability.
Chrome Canary is for you if you want early access to experimental Chrome features before the general public. I won’t recommend you to use it as your primary browser. You can not set it as your default browser. Chrome only allows the stable version to be selected as the default browser on your computer.
That said, you won’t find any disruptive behavior in your main Chrome browser de to Canary. It works independently and allows you to try out all the experiments you want to do in a browser.
Who Should Use Chrome Canary
Chrome Canary is strictly made for developers and technology enthusiasts. As per Google, “Be forewarned: it’s designed for developers and early adopters, and can sometimes break down completely.” Geeks refer to such programs as bleeding-edge technology. That means it can be unreliable and could even be unstable for primary use. If you find it stressful by thinking about browser crash, Canary isn’t for you.
If you like to check out new features, and do not have any problem with occasional glitches, then Chrome Canary is for you. Canary lets the Google developers attend to those problems that can become irritable if unnoticed. Any update that we see in the stable version of Google Chrome was once a part of the Chrome Canary.
So, you become the first tester for Google as an audience to test and report any bugs and flaws.
Chrome Canary Features
Now that you have decided to use Chrome Canary for any reason let’s talk about its features.
Like I said earlier, Google can add and remove any feature from Canary without giving a warning. There is more than one field where Canary lets you use the privileged features.
Developers get early access to new developer tools in Canary.
Developers tools can give you detailed information about a page you have opened. You can look into the elements, their design, and if possible, you can also see what code they are using to create specific elements.
It helps the developers to view and edit elements in real-time for debugging any problem with the site. You can also view and edit CSS and Html elements to change their appearance.
Canary keeps adding new ways to interact with the webpage to allow developers to make the best out of it. For instance, Canary users can Audit a page for its performance. Then there is a function called Request blocking that can stop specified scripts from running. If you think a particular element from the webpage is slowing down the site, say an image, you can stop it from loading and recheck the page performance.
It is one of many advantages that Canary users get in the developer tools.
Chrome Flags are the hidden chamber of secrets in a Google browser. It contains all the experimental features Google is trying out but not available to the general public. If you are a developer or a tinkler who likes to play with undercooked features, you should try Flags.
To use the experimental features, you have to visit the Chrome flags page, i.e., “chrome://flags” in your browser. The address works both in the stable version and the Canary version of Chrome. However, Canary has the upper hand of having more experiments for you to play.
Google keeps adding more and more quirky features in the Flags section. Some of them you can try out are:
- Tab customization
- UI Features
- Permission controls
General Problems with Canary
Canary can be tricky to use if you are impatient. It often breaks down entirely and might take a few days to recover. So, it would be best not to rely on it for everyday purposes.
It can also be buggy. Small bugs can come up every other day. Luckily, since the code is updated daily, the bugs get solved even faster. You don’t have to wait for scheduled updates like the Dev or Beta version.
A few other difficulties you might get with Canary are:
- Problems with Flash player
- Significant applications like Docs not working
- Bugs with rendering graphic and videos
- OS-specific crashes
- Failure to load extension, settings, or websites
Should You Use Canary?
If you are not a technology geek capable of handling development tools, Canary isn’t for you. There is a little benefit in exchange for unreliable performance.
The advanced features can keep you ahead of the rest of the world and be useful in many aspects. You can customize your browser if you like. Other than that, there aren’t many advantages of using Chrome Canary for the general public.
Canary’s experimental features might also interfere with languages other than English. Some pages might not translate to different languages correctly. If English is your second language and you need to translate pages for better understanding, you might want to skip using Canary.
Chrome never fails to amaze us. For those who like to find quirky hidden settings, Chrome has a chest full of surprises. There are a few drawbacks and some advantages of using Canary, as we discussed in the article. If you have made your mind, you can download Chrome Canary from here. It is available for macOS, iOS, Android, Linux, and both versions of Windows.