Is Safari browser the best for you and your Mac
Most of us plump for the easy options in life. It’s just a given, and it’s not a bad policy either. Life is complicated enough without looking to add to it. Our choice for simplicity even comes down to apps that we use; the ones baked in to the devices we are using. This is so true, certainly on iOS devices and also pretty constant on our desktop and laptop set-ups too.
How do you browse?
I bet on your iPads and iPhones you use Safari. Am I right? That is firstly because it is there when we unbox those devices, but also because it does its job remarkably well. But, there is this swell of users that for some reason still swear by Chrome. It’s a decent browser, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against it and in fact I do use it for uploading videos to YouTube (more of that later). Other than that one task, I am totally satisfied with Safari, but in this blog, let’s square them up browser v. browser, shall we?
Chrome is notorious for its power usage. If you are working on a MacBook Pro, don’t take my word, …check for yourself. If you click the battery icon in the menu bar at the top of your screen, you can witness for yourself which apps are using a significant amount of energy. Expect to see Chrome there,…bet ya!
Chrome is a RAM hogger too. It always has been, and it becomes especially prominent when comparing Chrome to Safari. The boffins at Apple have optimised their browser for their hardware, and it really does show.
Admittedly, Google have been working on this, but it is still a juicy app. Open up the Activity Monitor on your Mac, then head to the CPU, and take a look at the Memory, or Energy section. If you open some tabs in both Chrome & Safari, Chrome will almost always use more energy for the same job.
It works the way it should do
The main reason Safari works so well on the Mac, is simply, it was built for it. Much of Chromes roots are in ChromeOS. macOS and ChromeOS are entirely unique beasts, and that is where the inherent problems begin.
Have you ever wondered why Chrome prompts, you to hold down Command+Q for a while before it quits? Now you know. Mac apps have their preferences window; Chrome, however, chooses to use a website in a tab. Why?
And it will doubtless not surprise you to know that Chrome is much slower to catch up with the latest macOS features. Dark Mode, introduced in 2018 with the release of Mojave, and Safari supported it straight away. With Chrome, it was about six months later. Notifications seemed to take an age to catch up as well. Small things, but for us Mac users, they all stack up to make quite a difference in our day’s labour.
Another factor that helps me to feel at home is that I can use the same shortcut keys too. I am, after all, a creature of habit and I do lurve my shortcuts!!
On extensions, Chrome wins
I mentioned earlier that I use Chrome for uploading videos to YouTube. That is because of one particular extension that I need to use. This, however, is not an oversight by Safari, rather Apple taking their utmost care over our privacy.
Extensions work by tracing and tracking much of our browsing history, and as we know, Apple are not too keen on that. There are some Safari extensions, and rapidly growing, but they do not number anywhere near the amount you can find to run on Chrome.
With Google, their main business is in ads and revenue from them. You, me, we are the commodity and our data is a goldmine to them. With Apple, the difference is, we are their client, not a commodity.
So, use extensions certainly, but just be aware of how they are working.
Safari, and Apple generally, are remarkable at how long they support their hardware. The same is true for much of the software they supply to run on our Macs. A new version of Safari will run on all older macOS. Chrome’s system requirements though will see you capping out at Yosemite in being able to run their latest offering.
Simply put, it is gorgeous now. Tab Groups, 4K streaming, Translations, Quick Note integration, Live Text and Apple Pay…the reasons to use Safari on a Mac go on and on. I am sure there will be nay-sayers out there who’ll still be shouting ‘yeah, but Chrome is just better’. Do yourself a favour, next time you are on your MacBook, open up the latest iteration of Safari. It honestly has taken browsing to a whole new level.
I know browsers are not that sexy, but we all use them every day of our digital lives. Don’t you therefore owe it to yourself to make that experience as safe and quick as possibly? It’s all about the quality of day to day life, right?
Before you go
Originally published at https://www.talkingtechandaudio.com/blog on February 7, 2022.