If you have spent any time around Chrome Unboxed you’ve surely heard us talk about the different channels available for Chrome OS.
What’s a channel?
Channels are the different versions of current and upcoming builds of the Chrome OS software.
The Stable Channel is the stock OS for your Chrome device and is the “official” release of said version.
Beyond Stable are the Beta and Developer channels used for testing and stair-stepping new features and enhancements into the official build of Chrome OS.
These channels are available through the settings of your Chrome device. Though sometimes a little unstable, they are still relatively functional and often offer glimpses of what’s to come.
Outside of these versions lies what is referred to as “the bleeding edge.”
Canary is a build outside of the aforementioned channels. It is literally where features and updates begin their life. It is often unstable and I highly recommend avoiding it unless you are certain of the risks and confident in your ability to return your device to its former stable state.
Canary Chrome Browser
Like Chrome OS, the Chrome web browser offers a Beta and Developer build directly from the Play Store. These builds allow users to test new features as well as assist developers in finding bugs that need to be addressed before moving on to Stable.
Canary for the Chrome browser has almost exclusively been a tool for developers.
Release to the public will allow developers to more quickly address bugs and security issues. This could essentially allow for quicker updates in the future.
Keep in mind Canary may contain a number of untested features and therefore can be very buggy, if not completely dysfunctional.
Hence the disclaimers that come with the app;
Experimental – This release has not been tested. It may be unstable or fail to run at times. Recommended for developers and advanced users only.
The good news is Canary will run side-by-side with any of the other builds of Chrome. If you find it to be to quirky, you can always use another version.
You can read all about the Canary Chrome browser at the Official Chromium Blog.