Thursday, September 4, 2008

Is Chrome color managed?

Google released a new very interesting-looking browser called Chrome. It sports some very intriguing features and is based on Apple's WebKit, the code behind Safari. Unfortunately, Chrome is only available for Windows (come on Google!). Also, Google has a very very poor record on the question of color management. Their (windows-only too) picture utility Picasa is not managed. Their web service even strips profiles (horrifying) when you upload images. It is therefore not surprising that Chrome appears to not be color managed, not even using a preference regardless of its WebKit roots. What is it Google? The Stone Age? No color management in a browser is getting ridiculous, especially when you basically get it for free and you're writing one from the ground up. It's even more important with the growing prevalence of wide-gamut LCDs and small-gamut laptop displays and more and more display manufacturers shipping not super correct but usable profiles in their windows drivers. I would be fine with a simple preference (preferably less hidden than that in Firefox). It would be great if somebody could check this out as I don't have a Windows machine.

Update: I checked it on a windows machine and there is no color management anywhere in Chrome. Giant leap backwards indeed. While some of the technology in Chrome is very cool and it does feel fast and I like WebKit being there, this is quite disappointing. But unfortunately, since Picasa is STILL not color managed (and there it really matters a lot even when nobody that uses it calibrates their monitors), I don't think Chrome will ever get color management. A little like Microsoft and their IE.


  1. Awesome - I just learned a lot from this and things make much more sense now. It's surprising with the amount of ignorance on the web. no wonder it's so darn cofusing and the whole CMS thing have taken me ages to learn (still learning).

  2. I just downloaded chrome for mac, the beta that was just released. It appears to be color managed now. I like this site to test color management support for browsers:

    The problem I'm having is that it isn't supporting color management for Flash. Flash Player 10 has a feature to tell the browser that it is tagged sRGB (very limited color management, but that's better than nothing). Chrome is ignoring this, while Safari and Firefox honor it.