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New update to Chrome adds native support for Apple silicon Macs

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Chrome Download (Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • Chrome 87 adds native support for Apple silicon.
  • It also brings a 5X reduction to CPU usage and 1.25-hour increase in battery life.
  • It also redesigns the app icon for macOS Big Sur.

Update, November 17 (8:20 pm ET): Google has halted the update but says it will be available tomorrow.

Reported by 9to5Google, Google has released a new version of Chrome for the Mac that is optimized for Apple silicon and the M1 chip currently powering Apple's new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini.

According to the report, Mac users with an M1-powered Mac will see a new "Mac with Apple chip" option when downloading Chrome.

To download, visit google.com/chrome and click the blue "Download" button. If you're using an M1 computer, you should be given the option to select between "Mac with Intel chip" — which is labeled as being "most common" — and "Mac with Apple chip."

Some M1 Mac users, however, are reporting that Chrome is automatically updating to the Apple silicon version of the browser.

Meanwhile, some users report that the Intel version of Chrome for Mac is automatically updating to the Apple Silicon variant. Since the latest release of Chrome launched later in the afternoon, some new Mac owners already downloaded the previous release this morning. You can visit chrome://settings/help to manually initiate the update process.

Chrome was already running on the new Macs but using Apple's Rosetta 2 x86 to Apple silicon converter to do so. Native support should bring additional improvements to performance and power efficiency.

Meanwhile, some users report that the Intel version of Chrome for Mac is automatically updating to the Apple Silicon variant. Since the latest release of Chrome launched later in the afternoon, some new Mac owners already downloaded the previous release this morning. You can visit chrome://settings/help to manually initiate the update process.

Chrome 87, in addition to adding native support for Apple silicon, brings a 5X reduction to CPU usage, a 1.25-hour increase to battery life, and 25% faster speed when opening the browser. It also brings a new app icon to macOS that has been designed for Big Sur.

Update, November 17 (8:20 pm ET) — Google has halted the update but says it will be available tomorrow.

The Chrome team has noted that they have hit a snag with the Apple silicon version of Chrome but should be releasing the update tomorrow.

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They have also provided a workaround to any users who have already downloaded the new version.

Joe Wituschek
Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.