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Web Browsers


Home Page Release Notes License:
Open source; $0

Current Version: 1.0.4 (March 8, 2007) / 2.0.3 (May 27, 2010)

Camino (formerly Chimera) is an interesting beast. Basically, it's a streamlined version of the Mozilla web browser for Mac OS X, but with a twist: the back-end of the program utilizes Mac OS X's UNIX layer (including the Berkeley Standard Distribution networking stack) for speed and stability, and the front end (the user interface) is programmed using Cocoa, Mac OS X's object oriented programming interface.

What's the point? Speed - blazing speed. Camino is generally as fast as any Windows browser at loading individual pages - and that's a real treat. Camino is only a browser (no mail and news capabilities), yet that adds to its elegance and efficiency. Because the core code is based upon Mozilla's Gecko rendering engine, it behaves smoothly and maturely. As of version 1.0 and many, many years of development and "pre-1.0" status, it also has finally gained most of the preference-setting capabilities that users expect from a mature web browser (with some hidden preferences, to boot).

Version 2.0.3 is available for Mac OS X 10.4 and later, making many enhancements, including:

  • Upgraded to version of the Mozilla Gecko rendering engine, which includes several critical security and stability fixes.
  • Prevented possible crashes when closing several tabs in succession.
  • Bookmarks found in Spotlight searches will once again open in Camino.
  • Bookmark import will no longer try to import old Firefox bookmarks.
  • html files from profiles used by Firefox 3 and later. Camino no longer exports Spotlight metadata for menu spacers.
  • "Reset Camino" will now always clear the "Recently Closed Pages" menu.
  • The context menu in about:config is now functional.
  • Insecure cookies will no longer be shown as secure in the list of cookies.
  • Prevented possible crashes when software update fails to download information about available updates.
  • Improved ad-blocking.

(Version 1.0.4 remains available for Mac OS X 10.2, and other older versions remain available as well.)

Camino was the first Gecko-based browser to run natively on Intel-based Macs, and I recommend that users of these Macs take the program out for a spin to see how it performs.

Why don't I make Camino a Drew's Pick? Well, principally because I think it's still lacking in some of Firefox's key configurability and extensibility, and I feel that there are still a few rough edges in its performance (for instance, Camino sometimes slows down when loading multiple tabs at once, and at least some key speed optimizations that have made it into Firefox - such as smoother support for the "general.smoothScroll" preference - remain to be optimized in Camino). Additionally, Camino is usually a bit behind in implementing the latest improvements in the Gecko rendering engine, although as of version 2, it's finally close to being on par with Firefox 3.5.

User Reviews

"I have just started using Chimera 0.4 on OS 10.1.5. So far it is great. A very nice, clean, quick interface that is also intuitive, which are all the pluses that we as Mac users are looking for in every app that we use. Importing bookmarks was quick and simple once I could find them on the new OS X file heirarchy. To tell the truth, this browser is amazing for a sub 1.0 release. Some nifty features: multiple web sites in the same window, using a tab set up; and automatically detecting ad pop ups and eliminating them. No, it does not have all the features packed into Explorer and Netscape, but with the advent of Apple creating web apps right into OS X like Mail, and the upcoming iChat, I want my browser to be as simple as possible. Chimera fits the bill perfectly. For now it will be my primary browser."
—Carter Skemp

"I discovered Chimera through checking Mozilla from a MacAddict magazine and gave it a try. It is truly an amazing and simple Mac OS browser! I am using version 0.5 now, and eagerly looking forward to updates. Pages load quickly and I have even removed the Internet Explorer alias from my dock and primarily use Chimera now. This program does OS X justice."
—Steve Ashby

"In my opinion, Camino is without a doubt and hands down *THE* best browser to date! I've used the IEs, the Netscapes, Opera 6, iCab, Mozilla and OmniWeb and Camino. No contest: Camino leaves the others in the dust! It's categorically and conclusively my favorite browser. Can't beat it for speed and ease of navigation. No "portion" pages; no "missing pieces" (images, text, etc.). Camino doesn't leave you guessing, and it gets you there with unbeatable speed!"
—Carrie Burr

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Also See . . .

Can't find what you're looking for? Try a search:

Also, if you have an older Mac, be sure to check out the "Classic" applications page for more options.

Finally, take a look at ALEMIA if you think you know that name of an application, but aren't quite sure.

Related Links

Are you looking for an older version of a browser, but can't seem to find it? The Browser Archive and Darrel Knutson's Macintosh Web Browser Page are the places to visit!

Also Consider . . .

These are applications that are newer and of potential interest, but which I haven't yet selected for permanent inclusion. Have a look, and let me know if you think they deserve to be part of the permanent collection!