For a browser that’s not pre-installed on macOS, Google Chrome is pretty popular among Mac users, but it makes sense. Chrome was known in its early days for being energy-efficient, storage-friendly, and fast. Mac users even said it was far better than Safari and Firefox.
While that may have been true at the time, it is no longer so. Safari now outperforms Chrome because it is more energy-efficient, privacy-oriented, and plugs in better with the overall Apple ecosystem. Still not convinced? Let’s do a deep dive. In this article, we’ll check out five reasons why you should avoid using Google Chrome on your Mac and use Safari instead.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored, and our verdicts are unbiased and solely performance-based. We’ll lay out the facts for both sides, but the decision is ultimately yours. We’d just like to ensure that we help you make the best one.
Ready? Safari vs. Chrome, let the duel begin!
1. Safari Fits Better Into the Apple Ecosystem
Many Mac users are diehard Apple fans, so chances are that you own one or two other Apple devices. If that’s the case, Safari is the better bet in the Safari vs Chrome war. Everything just works better together: your passwords, for example, are managed by Apple’s system-wide tool and synced via iCloud. The same holds true for your Bookmarks.
If you have an iPhone or iPad, the Handoff feature also makes it possible to go to a site on Safari on your mobile device, pick up your Mac, and return to the same site. As a result, you can switch between iPhone/iPad and Mac with intuitive ease.
Add the extremely secure AutoFill feature, which automatically and securely supplies saved passwords and personal information. It’s difficult to look beyond Safari, especially since you’re locked into the Apple ecosystem. Basically, continuity with iOS is only available in Safari.
Overall, Safari provides excellent performance, is available right out of the box on your Mac, and has a growing number of extensions that allow you to expand its capabilities.
However, if you have other Android or Windows devices in your home or workspace, Chrome is a better choice for the same reason. Google enables multi-device continuity within its ecosystem and provides deep integration with G-Suite, including Gmail, Google Drive, Google Photos, and more. However, don’t make a decision just yet. This plus for Chrome fades in comparison to the downsides in the next points. Let’s continue.
2. Safari is More Energy-Efficient
The life and speed of your Mac are in its battery and RAM storage, respectively. It’s no secret that Google Chrome is a resource hog by nature. Chrome not only slows down a device but also drains your battery pretty quickly, and that’s a nightmare for most of us.
Safari, on the other hand, is better optimized to get the most out of your Mac. It requires far fewer resources to run, resulting in smooth performance and far less battery consumption. If improved performance is a top priority for you, and we’re sure it is, Apple Safari is the way to go.
Don’t take our word for it. You can verify Chrome’s greedy grasping of your Mac’s battery. To do this, you’ll need to open the energy impact measurement tools, which can be accessed by clicking the battery icon in the menu bar. If you have Chrome running, chances are that it will appear here.
Alternatively, simply launch the Activity Monitor on your Mac and navigate to the Energy section. Open some tabs in Chrome and some in another browser—Chrome will almost always use more energy for the same task.
3. Safari is More Secure Than Chrome
Safari has an advantage in terms of security and privacy. Aside from the trusted policy to protect users’ data, Safari includes several features to block data trackers.
Chrome has an Incognito mode that works similarly to Safari’s Private Browsing to allow users to surf the web privately by not saving or sharing personal information. However, Google’s browser frequently falls short of that expectation.
In fact, a study conducted by Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, revealed that Google continues to collect data from users even when they are in Incognito mode. Following the shocking revelation, a $5 billion class-action lawsuit was filed in the United States against the search engine behemoth.
The thing is, Google’s sneaky surveillance is easily explained. The company’s revenue is primarily ad-based, which means that you are not the customer; you are the product. Users are auctioned to whichever ad-placing company bids the highest, so Google only makes money if it can acquire and sell information about you.
In comparison, Apple adds a slew of privacy-protection features to macOS. For example, Apple demands a yearly renewal of HTTPS certificates for sites on Safari.
In macOS Mojave, Safari was updated to add Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2 (ITP 2), a feature that tries to combat cross-site tracking by making it more difficult for websites to track you on the internet. It also tries to scrub fingerprinting, making it more difficult for websites to identify you in the future.
When you combine this with Apple’s notoriously tight-lipped operating system, you get a browser that is both secure and dependable. It’s also fast, with a score of 136 on the 2021 Jetstream 2 browser benchmark, which puts it ahead of popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox.
4. Chrome Extensions Will Cost You
When it comes to extensions, Chrome is clearly the clear winner in the Chrome vs. Safari showdown. Then again, a large extension library comes at a cost.
Chrome extensions are one of the primary reasons that the browser greedily consumes your CPU and drains so much of your battery life. Extensions can also cause privacy issues because many of them require extensive access to your browsing history. As efficient as extensions can be, the strain they place on your system can come at a high cost.
However, you don’t have to miss out on any features since Safari has a plethora of fantastic extensions as well.
5. Safari’s Design is Pretty Good
Before now, most Mac users ‘tolerated’ Safari for lack of anything better, but Apple developers have actively upgraded Safari to a worthy contender for the best browsers out there. With pretty cool features like picture-in-picture viewing, an effective Reader Mode, toolbar customization, URL previews, and many more, Safari makes for versatile and intuitive browsing.
While the browser does not support extensive customization yet, Safari in iOS 15 promises more customization options for users and definitely more user-friendly interface upgrades.
There Are Plenty Other Fishes in the Sea
Of course, the Chrome vs Safari debate only exists because the two browsers are renowned heavyweights in the industry. However, what works for geese does not always work for ganders. If neither of them suits your needs, you can turn to alternative browsers for Mac. You just might be pleasantly surprised.