We all use it daily – but I’ve been having problems
Safari is one of those apps that I rarely pay any attention to. It’s just there – ever-present.
Writing stories as I do most days about Macs or Apple gear, some things that seem to get other Apple users uptight, don’t bother me. Bezels for instance never gave them a second thought. The notch on the iPhone – couldn’t care less and the chin on an iMac was just there…I’d never noticed it and it certainly didn’t offend.
And then there are apps that others seem to spend an age either searching for replacements or fiddling with. Only yesterday I wrote about some killer organisation apps such as Reminders and Notes which work fine for me straight out of the gate. Mac Mail does what it’s supposed to, so why bother wasting time looking for another mail client – it sends, it receives…job done!
I only mention this as it’s important you know I like what Apple delivers and don’t go searching for answers to problems that aren’t there.
And then there’s Safari
For the longest while, Safari fell under that same heading of ‘it just works’ but recently, I’ve been having more and more issues with Apple’s browser.
I guess I’ve been solely using Macs now for around 12 or 13 years and as you know, when you buy a Mac the native browser is Safari and as you’ll know if you’ve read me before, I don’t like to complicate things – a simple life is fine by me.
I guess I liked Safari as I had nothing to compare it to. Part of that simple life is that I viewed a browser as a means to an end and not something to get enthused over. If it found the website I needed then that was that.
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Much like you, I’m guessing, my workflow and requirements change over time.
A few years back when I started my YouTube channel was a prime example. Uploading a video can be done with Safari but it’s not optimal. There are certain plugins and tools that are only available on Chrome. I’m sure someone can explain to me why Safari is not an extension-friendly browser – but it just isn’t.
It was only because of YouTube that I first installed Chrome – yup, for all those years I’d only ever used Safari. After all, both Chrome & Safari use Google as their search engine, so what difference can it make?
Being a devout and pure Mac boy, I’d heard all these stories that Chrome was a grubby, power-hungry and resource-draining browser. Again it’s beyond my pay grade to know whether those rumours are true or simply urban myths – but that was the word on the street, so why bother clogging up my Mac with more clutter?
I liked the way Safari fitted into – yup, you’ve guessed it…the ecosystem.If you need a password then the Passwords app (another native app I love) powers up, and not only gives you a strong password but also saves it across all your devices – remember I love simple. Logging back in again in future is smooth and painless.
And speaking of the ecosystem it also means you can find tabs open on your other Macs or devices which has come in super useful from time to time. I love the Reading List element of Safari as a way to save sites or pages I want to be able to quickly refer back to – and then there is Handoff which again I’m a fan of – being a paid-up member of the Apple fanboy club.
Whether or not Safari is any less thirsty than Chrome I have no idea, but Safari has always been quick and delivered what I needed from it. It was quick, sleek in design and very Apple’esque.
But recently Safari has not been my friend.
…and now it doesn’t
After one of the recent updates to Ventura, Safari just has not been the same.
The favicons have vanished – not for all sites, but randomly they’ve just gone. Now I’m well aware that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but those favicons are a super quick way to visually recognise the site you are looking for. Muscle memory works a dream and you can spot a logo for a saved site much quicker than reading or searching for it through a list.
Me being me, and somewhat of a perfectionist, I spent hours one day trying to sort out the problem but with no joy. Where Safari had looked great, I now have this broken home page with some sites sitting there on my Favourites page with drab grey tiles and just an initial – and that’s not how I want my Mac to look.
I like tidy – I like pretty.
Is Safari broken?
The aesthetics are only one part of the problem I’m having with Safari – it’s no longer very good at its job.
Time after time I’m left waiting for an eternity for a site to load. When it happened yesterday it was so bad that I honestly thought my connection was down – it was spooling for an age. I quit Safari and re-launched it – with no joy. I tried manually typing the site too rather than launching it from the saved favourite but I was still left hanging and waiting. Time to launch Chrome…
The same site, on the same Mac, opened in the blink of an eye! This isn’t the first time this happened either – since that update a month or so back, it has become an ever-increasing almost daily issue. Sadly I can no longer rely on Safari.
Still a Mac fan
Because of the ecosystem, passwords, Handoff and habit, I still turn to Safari first – I want it to work – remember simplicity comes first for me.
But more and more now I am turning to and using Chrome and you know what – it’s delivering for me – I’m rather liking it. And of course, the more time I spend using it, the more I am getting used to it and it’s starting to build up some history on me. It is learning my habits, creating passwords and I’ve even started saving favourites there too now.
Having recently dallied with Android phones, getting used to Google and Chrome was a by-product of that journey anyway, and I am starting to enjoy the Chrome experience.
Above all it works! It does what it says on the tin. If it’s draining a little extra power from my MacBook – so be it. Chrome is delivering that simple life I love.
Safari needs a fix…I hope Apple is listening.
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