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