Borrowing from the famous saying 'canary in a coalmine', Chrome Canary is an early-release, experimental version of Google's web browser Chrome.
Google says: "be forewarned: it's designed for developers and early adopters, and can sometimes break down completely".
Chrome currently has four different release channels available: Stable, Beta, Dev and Canary.
Stable is the channel most use. It is subject to full testing and the safest option for users.
Canary represents the most experimental of the four versions, as its releases go out as soon as they are built, without testing or usage by Google engineers.
The Beta channel showcases what's next for Chrome, without much risk involved, while the Dev channel gets more updates than the Beta channel but is still subject to bugs.
Chrome Canary is updated with new features almost every day, and can be run alongside Chrome Stable for development and testing purposes, according to Google. It can be downloaded for Windows 64-bit, Windows 32-bit, OSX and Android.
Google attaches a warning sign to Canary: it's the least stable build of Chrome, used to test bleeding-edge features which may not work. So why should developers consider using it?
You can run Canary alongside the Stable version of Chrome, which means it offers the advantages of both access to the latest features and a polished, fully-tested version.
This provides a safe way to test out the latest features, APIs, changes and flags while offering a stable environment for day-to-day work too. Canary includes all of Chrome's features like Flash and PDF reader.