When it comes to browsing the internet, people have very strong opinions about which browser they prefer. Developers tend to lean towards Firefox, general users towards Chrome, and Apple users like Safari. But when comparing apples to apples, which browser is actually better, Safari vs Chrome? and why?
What is Safari
Safari is Apple’s built-in browser that comes with every iPhone, iPad, and Mac. The early versions of Safari were unimpressive because of its bare-bones approach, but a lot has changed since then. Apple cares very deeply about your security and privacy, and this is just one area where Safari shines. Safari has gone through a lot of changes since the early days, and now it holds its own against the big boys.
What is Google Chrome
Google Chrome is a cross-platform web browser offered by Google. It has a reputation for being fast and light. However, that was how it was described when it first launched in 2008. At that time, it only worked on Microsoft Windows but was quickly workshopped for Linux, macOS, Android, and iOS. Later it became an integral part of the Chrome OS platform. StatCounter estimates that 71% of people worldwide use Chrome as their primary web browser.
The Difference Between Safari vs Chrome
Did you know that Safari’s address bar doubles as a calculator and converter? You don’t even need to get online when baking a cake, you can just type in “3 cups to ounces,” and you’ll see the answer without even having to tap the enter key. You can also right-click and look up the definition of any word online while using Safari.
Safari syncs all your bookmarks across every device using iCloud. You can also use Handoff to transfer a browsing session between two devices. You can even pay for things on Safari using Apple Pay. On the iPhone, you can use your Apple Watch or FaceID to pay inside Safari. Another great feature, especially on the iPhone, is the “Reader.” When you try to read a web page full of ads, it can be challenging, especially on a small screen. Switch to Safari’s reader mode and voila’ all you see is clean text, images, and videos without all the overkill formatting.
Chrome features full integration with Chromecast, and you can beam your screen to another device (works like AirPlay on Mac). Chrome has a task manager to end tasks that are locked up in the browser and slowing things down. Chrome also has a built-in translator to change web pages into another language. Users can also tap into an extensive library of more than 150,000 extensions.
Chrome uses a lot of resources and drains the battery quick on the MacBook and iPhone. On a Mac, it won’t matter, but for portability, Chrome loses this battle. Safari, however, uses incredibly light resources and puts almost zero strain on battery life.
Chrome has a massive extension library that users can dip into to install plugins into their browser. However, these extensions eat up even more battery life, and they can be a security and privacy risk. Extensions are not regulated, so when you download and install, you get what you get.
Safari, on the other hand, has very limited extensions that you can install. The main reason is that Apple likes to control the user experience (to offer an unblemished appeal), and they want to secure the browser and provide optimal privacy as well. Hence, you have to decide whether you want too many extensions (including the unnecessary ones), or you want limited extensions but knowingly that they are all useful. Keep this in mind before making a decision in choosing between Safari vs Chrome.
Security & Privacy
When it comes to privacy, Safari is hands-down the winner here between Safari vs Chrome. Google, as everyone knows, is watching, monitoring, and tracking everything you do online. Their entire ecosystem depends on the monetization of your data. Additionally, Google has an awful reputation of retaining users’ location data and logging them in even though they requested to opt-out. Therefore, you will not enjoy a lot of secure browsing or privacy using Chrome, and there is always the possibility for data breaches. However, when it comes to security, Chrome is excellent. It continuously scans for malware and warns you about potentially dangerous downloads or websites.
Safari is a top-shelf browser when it comes to privacy and security. The browser offers the user a lot of settings, which, when configured, ensure a private, secure browsing experience without targeted ads, tracking cookies, and invasions of privacy. Safari uses cross-site tracking prevention, and the iCloud Keychain prompts you with secure passwords when setting up new accounts.
Integration with iOS or macOS
There is no doubt that for Mac and iPhone users Safari integrates better with the platform. Chrome does not support common keyboard shortcuts and other features that Apple users have come to enjoy. For example, on a Mac, you can close any task using CMD + Q. In Chrome, when you do this, nothing happens. You have to quit the program manually. Google didn’t take the time to build in all the shortcuts that make using a Mac so easy.
In Safari, all your passwords are integrated seamlessly into web page logins through the iCloud Keychain. In Chrome, you’ll have to remember your passwords to log in. Hence, if you are a iOS or macOs user, you might want to choose Safari when making the decision between Chrome vs Safari
In terms of speed, both browsers earn about the same marks. Independent testing shows both browsers perform better than Firefox. Testing different types of pages and websites, sometimes Chrome came out on top, and sometimes Safari did. Speed is a toss-up and pretty much equal between the two.
The Verdict For Safari vs Chrome
In most head-to-head comparisons, Safari came out as the clear winner. The updated versions of Safari include some slick enhancements that put it over the top. Battery life and privacy are two other significant factors that play into the overall decision. Web browsers are a personal thing, and even with the pros and cons, everyone has their favorite; ours is Safari.