Google: Chrome in 'never-ending' beta

Google has said its Chrome browser will be in a "never-ending" beta test, and gave users three options to update their copies at varying intervals.

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Google has said its Chrome browser will be in a "never-ending" beta test, and gave users three options to update their copies at varying intervals.

Although the search company stripped the beta label from Chrome a month ago, on Thursday it said it was revamping how it updates the browser so that some users would essentially be participating in "a never-ending Beta test."

Rather than using just one "channel," the term it has used to describe the update mechanism for not-quite-ready versions of Chrome, Google has shifted to three, Mark Larson, a technical program manager with the company, said in a blog post.

"The channels are essentially a never-ending Beta test and a continuous feedback loop that lets us rapidly develop new ideas into solid product features," argued Larson.

The three channels include stable, beta and developer preview.

Stable means finished and polished, "rock solid," said Larson, and is the update channel set by default in Google.

Beta includes features that Google deems suitable reliable for wide testing, and will be refreshed about once a month, according to Larson.

"The Beta channel is more stable than Dev, but may lack the polish one expects from a finished product," he said.

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