Chrome 38 Beta makes user-switching feature more visible, adds 64-bit support to OS X and Windows

google_chrome_beta_iconGoogle has updated its Chrome Beta channel with the release of Google Chrome 38.0 Beta. The new release, also available as Google Chrome 38.0 Beta (64-bit) for Windows and Linux, has two major highlights.

The first is an improved -- and more visible -- way of managing and switching between multiple Chrome user profiles, while the other sees 64-bit support extended to the OS X platform.

The main new feature sees Chrome revamp and improve how it handles multi-user setups from a single machine. First, a more visible button can now be found in the top right-hand corner of the Chrome window, displaying the currently logged on user’s name.

Clicking this reveals a drop-down menu providing convenient shortcuts to managing the user's own profile, switching to another account or starting a private, incognito browsing session in a separate window.

Once users log into Chrome with their Google account credentials, their own profile -- including bookmarks, apps and theme -- is synced to that machine, enabling them to enjoy their own personalised browsing session. A Guest mode is also available to protect existing user privacy when sharing the computer with others -- choose Switch Person > Browse as Guest to access it.

The multi-user feature is already present in current builds of Chrome, but the changes bring it front and centre and make switching users more convenient than before. This is particularly true for people who haven’t set up a user profile in Chrome itself.

The update also sees the native Windows 64-bit build move out of the Dev channel into the Beta channel as it prepares to make its final release. It’s been joined by the first native 64-bit beta build for OS X too. All Mac users on the beta channel -- with the exception of first-gen Intel Macs – will automatically be migrated to this new build. Type chrome://help into the search bar to verify this switch has occurred.

Google Chrome 38.0 Beta is available now for Windows, Mac (32-bit and 64-bit) and Linux. A separate 64-bit build is also available for Windows and Linux.

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