Would you switch to Safari if it was…faster?

Lifehacker just did a updated browser showdown to ascertain what “might” be called the best browser for us Mac folks. I’ve been using Chrome over Firefox for a good couple years now, and while I’m rarely (okay never) tempted to try Firefox I’m often tempted to switch to Safari. I’m always wondering, however, if I’m sacrificing something by switching to Apple’s default, built-in browser.

Reading today’s Lifehacker post, however, makes me wonder if I’ve been missing something using Chrome.

In Lifehacker’s tests Safari came out as the over all winner, with Firefox lagging behind and Chrome behind it. Hmm. Interesting. See, I’ve been wondering if Chrome sucking the life out of my late-2008 MacBook Pro (it does have 8 gigs of RAM) was something I’m doing (yes, I like to have lots of tabs open). My experience with Safari before Mountain Lion was that Safari also quickly brought my machine to its knees (thank goodness for the “purge” command!). I figured it was Flash and the other nasties that tend to plague us now. However…

After reading the post, and being pretty surprised with the outcome, I’ve been trying Safari. Yep, still uses lots of RAM, but I’m also loading, and keeping open, pages like Facebook and HootSuite. Do tabs open and load faster (loading for the first time)? Yep. Loading the second or third time, about the same (Chrome does edge everyone out on that aspect).

So the important question is:

Would you switch to Safari?

I’m certainly enjoying the testing period, but I do miss the Chrome “pin tabs” feature (and I can’t find a substitute in Safari), however beyond that…nope nothing.

Tab syncing between my iOS devices and my Mac? Oh yeah, that rocks. Sure if I could set Chrome for iOS as my default browser I might not be as into it but I can’t (unless I jailbreak) so when I surf on my iPad or iPhone (which is often) and find something to write about later it’s handy to just have the tabs there at the ready. The question is really the long term, however. Will I find more sites that don’t work well in Safari and do work better in Chrome (not too likely, since both using Webkit)? Will there be a killer add-on that won’t be available for Safari (it does only have 5% browser share)?

So, what’s your take? Could you make the switch? Would you make the switch? Is there something keeping you on Firefox or Chrome?

P.S. After I wrote this post I read M.G. Seigler’s post about Chrome and its growing belatedness, which I find pretty interesting given my experience leading up to this post.

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Categories: Mac, Mountain Lion, OS X, Web/Tech

  • Mato Shibiru

    internet explorer for the win

  • m Arch Tom’s on Bar N Ass

    i m good with safari & can’t remember Opera when i tested the version years ago. Stainless is a alternative i sometimes remember to open & use for browsing the internet but i can’t tell what the user agent is.( look & feel of safari & at times better performance.

  • codeblue009

    i tried to switch from chrome to safari but after 2 months im back to chrome,,,,in safari i couldn’t duplicate a tab. opening tabs is slightly harder….safari works better with osx and full screen and gestures …..but chrome has full full screen which is nice

  • http://twitter.com/goldstanza Austin Hawryluk

    There’s always nitrous for google chrome iOS , makes chrome as fast as safari

  • http://rounak.me/ Rounak Jain

    Double tap and pinch to zoom are the only two things that make me use Safari over Chrome

  • Name

    Dolphin is the best browser for iOS

  • Bandrax


  • kraken

    Firefox gives unparalleled customizability. I can customize everything from the theme to the button layout, to how specific sites are rendered and which aspects of them are allowed to track me. No other browser offers this level of power, especially not Safari. For all of Apple’s talk about “think differently” their products do not cater to people who actually do have their own way of doing things and actually do “think differently”.

  • Kiwiholden

    Chrome has me hooked

  • Miranda Mandlate

    If i didn’t use OS X Mountain Lion (which works very well with safari), i would probably be using Chrome, but no i wouldn’t change if it were faster, it needs more features and customisability.

  • @adamrebel

    Safari is great

  • m Arch Tom’s on Bar N Ass

    almost positive i already commented on this post and remember saying Stainless browser is a alternative to Safari whenever i remember to use it. (with safari look & feel although i can’t tell what user agent is) try altavista for stainless app for the link pasted earlier might have removed the comment.