We've known for months now that multiple user profiles were on their way to Google's Chrome browser, but now they've come even closer to reality as they hit the Canary build of Chrome.
Google watchdog blog Google Operating System reports today that the feature has made its way to the bleeding edge for early adopters and is even highlighted in Chrome documentation.
What does multiple profile support mean for you? It means that if you have multiple Google accounts, say one for work and one for your personal interactions, it will be much easier to switch between them. It could also be good for that shared family computer sitting in the living room.
According to the Chromium documentation, the feature will also allow users to bring in personalized browser settings associated with their Google profile:
"The multiple profiles feature will allow the user to associate a profile with a specific set of browser windows, rather than with an entire running instance of Chrome. Allowing different windows to run as different Chrome identities means that a user can have different open windows associated with different Google accounts, and correspondingly different sets of preferences, apps, bookmarks, and so on -- all those elements which are bound to a specific user's identity. Having multiple profiles in the Chrome browser also makes it easy to browse with separate identities without having to log in as separate users at the operating system level."
So, how do you get this feature for yourself? Two options - either wait until it comes out on the regular channel (our suggestion for the majority of users) or switch over to the Canary build of Chrome. The Canary Build's name refers to the old practice of miners bringing a canary into a coal mine. If poisonous gasses were present, the canary would die before it would kill the miners, acting as an alarm system. That might give you some idea on just how unstable this build channel is expected to be.
If you decide to jump into the early, early adopter set (or if you're already there), simply enter "about:flags" in the address bar, enable "Multiple profiles" and then click "Relaunch browser" at the bottom of the page. Voila.
[Image via Google Operating System]