Google Chrome’s dominance on macOS is remarkable for a non-default browser, but it makes sense. Chrome has a reputation for being lightweight and quick in its early days. People felt it was superior than Safari and Firefox. It was true back then, but it is no longer true.
In fact, Safari outperforms Chrome on the Mac because it is more energy-efficient, protects your privacy better, and integrates smoothly with the Apple ecosystem. The following are all of the reasons why you should avoid using Google Chrome on your Mac.
9. Chrome Drains More Power Than Safari
On a MacBook, you can check which programs are using a considerable amount of energy by clicking the battery symbol in the menu bar. If you have Chrome installed, it will often appear here. Chrome is known for eating RAM and depleting laptop batteries. This issue is most noticeable when comparing Chrome to Safari, which is designed to run effectively on Mac hardware.
Google has been working on this problem and has made great progress—in some of our testing, Chrome did outperform Safari—but in most cases, Safari will outperform Chrome on the Mac.
You don’t have to take our word for it: open your Mac’s Activity Monitor and go to the CPU, Memory, or Energy column. Open the same tabs in Chrome and another browser—Chrome will nearly always consume more energy for the same work.
8. Chrome Works in Its Own Way
Unlike Safari, many of Chrome’s features are derived from ChromeOS rather than macOS. This results in a less-than-ideal Mac experience since Chrome behaves differently than other macOS programs.
Most Mac programs, for example, terminate instantaneously when you press Cmd + Q; Chrome, on the other hand, requires you to keep the combination down for a few seconds before quitting (though you can turn that feature off).Similarly, most Mac programs have their own preferences box; Chrome does it via a webpage in a separate tab.
Chrome is similarly slower than Safari in catching up with new macOS capabilities. For example, in September 2018, macOS Mojave introduced Dark Mode, which Safari supported right away. However, Chrome did not honor this functionality until March 2019—half a year later.
The previous notification system was similarly a shambles. Chrome utilized its own notification system, which did not work with the Mac’s Notification Center. This is no longer the case, although it was a major annoyance for far too long.
Forcing a person to learn a totally new workflow and user interface when they’re already used to one is obviously undesirable. Safari use the same buttons and symbols as the rest of macOS, resulting in a more seamless user experience.
7. Chrome Extensions Come With a Price
When it comes to extensions, Chrome is clearly the victor in the head-to-head battle between Chrome and Safari. Nonetheless, such a large extension library comes at a cost.
Extensions might cause privacy issues since many of them need substantial access to your browser history. Although there aren’t as many extensions to pick from in Safari, you can be certain that what is offered has been scrutinized more thoroughly than what you’ll discover on Google Chrome.
In any case, Safari offers a plethora of fantastic addons. Sure, there aren’t as many as with Google Chrome, but what’s offered covers all of the essential duties.
6. Google Is Watching You
While the goals of Google and Apple seem to coincide, the firms are organized somewhat differently. Google’s income is mostly reliant on advertising, which implies that you, as a user, aren’t actually the customer—you’re the product. Google only earns money if it can get and sell information about you.
While you can configure Chrome to safeguard your privacy to some extent, you’ll never be totally secure when dealing with a corporation whose business model is based on getting your data.
If it sounds Orwellian, Chrome for Mac is probably not for you.
5. Apple Watches You Less
Unlike Google, Apple’s business strategy is built on selling you products. Apple’s software is often free and only useful inasmuch as it makes Apple hardware more appealing to customers. The corporation has a stronger motivation to provide a browser that functions well with other Apple goods.
As a proof of its good faith, Apple periodically adds additional privacy safeguards to Safari. Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2 (ITP 2) was an upgrade to a Safari feature introduced in High Sierra that tries to fight cross-site tracking by making it more difficult for websites to track you across the web. It also tries to remove fingerprints, making it more difficult for websites to identify you in the future.
You can also see a Privacy Report from the Safari toolbar, which indicates which applications have tried to monitor you the most and which trackers they are attempting to employ. You may also use Apple’s Private Relay VPN with an iCloud+ membership, but only while using Safari.
4. There’s No Chrome Support Below El Capitan
Chrome’s system requirements exclude any Mac running macOS El Capitan or earlier. Sure, you can upgrade your Mac for free, but many individuals don’t want to or are unable to do so for a number of reasons. This includes those with outdated machines that do not support the most recent version of macOS.
Safari, on the other hand, is accessible for all macOS versions since it is incorporated into the operating system. Sure, you won’t receive all of the newest features, but Apple has been providing security upgrades for many years, and you’ll still have all of the essential browser capabilities no matter how old your operating system or machine is.
3. Safari Is Actually Really Good
For a long time, the general consensus was, “Sure, but no browser is better than Chrome.” Recent versions of Safari, on the other hand, are speedier and more elegant than Chrome.
Seriously, if you haven’t used this browser in a while, you have no idea what you’re missing. Even the extension ecosystem has advanced significantly; the most commonly used tools are now available. It will be difficult at first, but you will never look back. To reacquaint yourself with Safari, try these fundamental Safari tips and techniques.
Safari consistently surpasses Chrome in Jetstream browser performance testing, and it also includes several capabilities formerly reserved for Chrome users, such as website translation, tab groups, and weather updates immediately from the search bar.
2. Safari’s Reader Mode Is Great
Have you ever attempted to read an article but couldn’t get past the advertisements? Reader mode in Safari cuts through all the awful formatting, odd fonts, and ad splash pages to offer what you came for: pure, streamlined text. There are images, movies, and links, all in an easy-to-read style. You may change the text size and background color, and you can even save articles to read later.
Google has a similar experimental capability, but since removing the advertisements would reduce Google’s business margins, it’s doubtful that the complete feature would be added to Chrome very soon.
1. Safari Integrates Better With the Apple Ecosystem
If you’re committed to the Apple platform, Safari is unquestionably the best option. Everything simply works better: your passwords, for example, are handled by Apple’s system-wide tool and synced through iCloud. The same is true for your bookmarks.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, you can utilize Handoff to browse to a site on Safari on your mobile device, pick up your Mac, and return to the same site. You may also use Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone to approve Apple Pay transactions or to autofill one-time passcodes sent to your iPhone when checking in to other websites.
These may seem to be tiny enhancements, but they build up to a strong experience that makes using your numerous devices significantly more pleasurable.
You Can Always Try Another Browser
Though the Chrome vs. Safari discussion covers the two Mac browser giants, there are more choices to consider. If you don’t like either browser, have a look at our selection of the top alternative browsers for Mac users. Why not try out some of Opera’s most interesting features and give a lesser-known browser a try?
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