I did it. I ditched the behemoth browser that is Google Chrome in favor of Safari. And here are the reasons.
#1. Safari is faster
For a long time, the collective response to the above points was “Sure, but nothing is better”. However, recent versions of Safari are faster, sleeker, and better than Chrome.
Seriously, if you haven’t tried this browser out for a while, you don’t know what you’re missing. Even the extension ecosystem has come a long way; the most common tools are already waiting for you. It’ll be an adjustment, but you’ll never look back.
Chrome is a very fast browser… except when it isn’t. When it hangs and gets stuck before loading the page. Safari, however, has always been responsive when I’ve used it. It never lags or crash, like Chrome.
#2. Chrome Drains Your MacBook Battery
MacBook battery life has been a big feature for Apple in recent releases of macOS. Cupertino brought energy impact measuring tools to the operating system, which you can access by clicking the battery icon in your menu bar. If you’ve got Chrome running, Chrome will often show up here.
Chrome also consumes up a huge amount of battery life and RAM, which is terrible when you’re trying to use multiple apps on your MacBook simultaneously. Safari, however, is optimized to work on Mac hardware and uses almost no Power when it’s sitting in the background, in addition to taking up way less RAM than Chrome. Because of this, if battery life is important to you, avoid using Chrome on your MacBook.
Google is reportedly working on the issue, and has made progress, but the job is far from finished. And you don’t have to take my word for it: launch the Activity Monitor on your Mac, then go to the Energy section. Open some tabs in Chrome and the same ones in another browser—Chrome will almost always use more energy for the same task.
#3. Chrome Works in Its Own Way
Unlike Safari, many of Chrome’s features have their roots in ChromeOS, as opposed to macOS. This results into a less than ideal experience.
Most Mac apps close instantly when you press Cmd + Q; Chrome, by default, makes you hold the combo for a while (though you can disable that feature Most Mac apps have their own preferences window; Chrome uses a website in a tab for that.
Chrome is also slower to catch up with macOS features. macOS Mojave introduced Dark Mode in September 2018, which Safari supported out of the gate. But Chrome didn’t implement this feature until March 2019 which is six months later. Safari also has a feature that will turn supporting websites dark, whereas you have to install a Chrome extension to enjoy this feature.
The old notification system was also a mess. Chrome used its own notification setup that didn’t integrate with the Notification Center. The good news is that this is no longer the case, but it was a huge pain for a long period of time.
Obviously, it’s less than ideal to compell a user to learn an entirely separate interface when they’re accustomed to one already. Safari uses the same buttons and symbols as the rest of macOS, which leads to a more seamless experience.
#4. Chrome Extensions Come With a Price
It’s true that in the head-to-head Battle of Chrome vs. Safari, Chrome is the clear winner when it comes to extensions. Even so, a big extension library comes with a price.
One of the main reasons Chrome uses so much of your CPU and drains so much of your battery life is due to installed extensions. Extensions can also introduce privacy problems, as many of them need extensive access to your browsing. As great as extensions often are, their strain on your system can be a high price. If there are a few you can’t live without, don’t forget that Safari has numerous great extensions as well.
#5. Google Is Watching You
While Google and Apple’s interests might seem like they overlap, the companies are structured quite differently. Google’s revenue is primarily ad-based, meaning that as the user, you aren’t really the customer; you’re the product. Google only makes money if it can somehow collect information about you to sell.
While you can tweak Chrome to protect your privacy to some extent, you’ll never be entirely safe with a company whose business model is built on collecting your data. If that sounds Orwellian to you, Chrome on Mac probably isn’t for you.
#6. Apple Watches You Less
Apple’s business model is based on selling you, the user, its hardware. Its software is usually free, and is only valuable as much as it makes Apple hardware more attractive to the customer. The company has a more direct incentive to provide you with a browser that works well with other Apple products.
As a sign of this good faith, Apple introduced a whole suite of privacy protection measures in macOS Mojave. Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2 (ITP 2) is an update to a feature introduced in High Sierra that attempts to combat cross-site tracking, making it more difficult for websites to follow you on the web. It also attempts to scrub fingerprinting, which makes it more difficult for websites to identify you in the future.
#7. No Chrome Support Below Yosemite
Chrome’s system requirements cut off any Mac that’s below macOS Yosemite. Sure, you can update your Mac free of charge, but many people don’t want to for a number of reasons. This includes users on older computers that don’t support the latest version of macOS.
#8. Safari’s Reader Mode Is Great
Have you ever tried to read an article, but couldn’t get past the ads? Safari’s Reader mode cuts through all the bad formatting, strange fonts, and ad splash pages to deliver what you came for: pure, streamlined text. Images, videos, and links are included, all in an easy-to-read format.
#9. Safari Integrates Better With the Apple Ecosystem
If you’re all-in with the Apple platform, Safari is the better choice. All the little aspects just integrate better: your passwords, for example, are managed by Apple’s system-wide tool and synced using iCloud. The same goes for your Bookmarks.
Because I already use Safari on my iPhone, using Chrome instead on my MacBook meant that none of my passwords would sync across devices, which was a major headache. Now, with Safari on my Mac, my passwords are synced across my devices automatically, and I can autofill them using Face ID on my iPhone or Touch ID on my Mac.
That’s pretty much it. I’m done with Chrome. And the only thing I’ll miss is the dinosaur game.
Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or feedback, drop them in the comments section and I’ll answer them.