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Chrome Canary is the version of Chrome that has the latest changes added by Google to their browser. Chrome has 4 release channels: /canary/ - /dev/ - /beta/ - /stable/.
Using one of those versions, you are on the bleeding edge. The Google Canary name comes from those poor canaries used in coal mines. Wikipedia defines a canary like “something which warns of the coming of greater danger or trouble”.
In short, those releases are put out there so developers and internal people at companies can try out the latest features which will later become part of the stable releases sent to the hundreds of millions of people using them.
Changes in browsers can take months to be part of the stable release, so it makes sense that you, as a developer, feel the need to try out the new features as they are introduced, rather than using them when they are widely available.
Using /Chrome Beta/, /Firefox Developer Edition/ and the betas of macOS (Apple follows its OS release cycle for Safari) provides a safer experience, since the canary/nightly releases can sometimes break.
It’s not mandatory and you can definitely do your job on the stable releases of browsers, too. It’s just another tool at your disposal to do your work day after day.
Those preview releases are not linked to the stable release on your computers, so you can test things without worrying that a nasty bug will cancel your bookmarks or break your main browser experience.
I definitely encourage you to use those browsers. Not as the day-to-day browser, as one day a broken release might crash or have weird side effects, but as a way to test and use the latest and greatest upcoming Web Platform features.
More browser tutorials:
- Some useful tricks available in HTML5
- How I made a CMS-based website work offline
- The Complete Guide to Progressive Web Apps
- The Fetch API
- The Push API Guide
- The Channel Messaging API
- Service Workers Tutorial
- The Cache API Guide
- The Notification API Guide
- Dive into IndexedDB
- The Selectors API: querySelector and querySelectorAll
- The Document Object Model (DOM)
- The Web Storage API: local storage and session storage
- Learn how HTTP Cookies work
- The History API
- The WebP Image Format
- XMLHttpRequest (XHR)
- An in-depth SVG tutorial
- What are Data URLs
- Roadmap to learn the Web Platform
- CORS, Cross-Origin Resource Sharing
- Web Workers
- The requestAnimationFrame() guide
- What is the Doctype
- Working with the DevTools Console and the Console API
- The Speech Synthesis API
- How to add a class to a DOM element
- How to loop over DOM elements from querySelectorAll
- How to remove a class from a DOM element
- How to check if a DOM element has a class
- How to change a DOM node value
- How to add a click event to a list of DOM elements returned from querySelectorAll
- WebRTC, the Real Time Web API
- How to replace a DOM element
- How to only accept images in an input file field
- Why use a preview version of a browser?
- The Blob Object
- The File Object
- The FileReader Object
- The FileList Object
- The URL Object
- Typed Arrays
- The DataView Object
- The BroadcastChannel API
- The Streams API
- The FormData Object
- The Navigator Object
- How to use the Geolocation API
- How to use getUserMedia()
- How to use the Drag and Drop API
- How to work with scrolling on Web Pages
- Keyboard events
- Mouse events
- Touch events
- How to remove all children from a DOM element
- How to make a page editable in the browser
- How to remove all CSS from a page at once
- How to use insertAdjacentHTML
- Safari, warn before quitting
- How to reset a form
- How to use Google Fonts