Is Chrome Better Than Safari for Mac Users?

I often ask myself, is Chrome better than Safari for Mac users? While both browsers are excellent in their own right, Mac users should use Safari instead of Chrome.

I’ve tested both browsers on my MacBook Pro to deliver the ultimate answer all of you are looking for.

Since Safari is the native browser for the Apple ecosystem, here are the reasons why Mac users shouldn’t be using Google Chrome.

Stick around to find out.

1. Google Chrome is Less Energy-Efficient

Battery life is an important factor we need to consider when looking at the Safari vs. Chrome Mac debate. The Chrome browser is, in my opinion, a more demanding web browser.

Apple designs the MacBook so that the OS will tell you if you’re running apps that use a lot of energy. Everyone knows that Google Chrome isn’t the best-optimized web browser. It takes a lot of RAM for each new tab, which can be a nightmare for Mac users who do a lot of web browsing and have dozens of them open.

Safari, on the other hand, is a similar browser. But considering we’re looking at which browser is best on a Mac, the clear winner would be the browser native to the macOS ecosystem.

In this regard, Mac users shouldn’t use Google Chrome.

2. Safari is Native to macOS

You’ll notice that we’re running into the same issue. Safari is the native browser on the macOS ecosystem, while Chrome is native to the Chrome ecosystem.

While you can use both browsers on other operating systems, you’ll be coming up against similar issues that hinder user experience. 

Apple designs the Safari browser to work with shortcut keys native to its OS. If you want to close any app on your MacBook, all you need to do is press command + Q.

But if you’re running Google Chrome, there is a different command. Similarly, Google doesn’t rush to optimize new features for macOS systems. So it might take time for new features to work seamlessly on MacBooks.

In short, the Google Chrome browser is native to ChromeOS, so it might not be the best option to use on macOS.

3. Chrome is Slower than Safari

The Chrome dominance is coming to an end – especially on Mac systems. The reason why Apple users tend to use Chrome is that the browser is known for its speed. However, I found that not to be the case.

To prove that Safari is faster than Chrome on macOS, I did a Jetstream speed test. Jetstream tests the JavaScript performance on advanced web applications. Since JavaScript is a core technology on the World Wide Web, we can see which browser is faster.

Here is what I found:

The graphic shows the data collected through Jetstream. In short, Safari is still faster than Chrome on macOS.

4. Safari Has Extensions

This one took a while for Apple to introduce, but Mac users can now download extensions to Safari. Browser extensions are essential for businesses and everyone that works from home.

With Safari 14, Apple finally made it possible to download extensions such as Grammarly, LastPass, and others. Granted, Chrome is the king of extensions, but not every extension on the Chrome Web Store is safe.

(Open Mac App Store > Categories > Safari Extensions)

5. Chrome is Less Private and Less Secure

It’s a well-known fact that there are some serious flaws with Google Chrome. Most notably, Chrome is heavy on the idea of an “ad-based” experience.

What I mean by this is that Google collects your data and tries to sell you a product. It’s one of the few ways Google makes money from the average user.

The emphasis on ads and collecting personal data is why many Windows users prefer other browsers such as Firefox or Brave. But even these browsers similarly monetize data.

Safari, on the other hand, doesn’t do that. Apple’s business model provides users with the best experience when using their products. Ads and data collection don’t sit well with Apple. While they still do it to a degree, it’s far less Orwellian.

So think of it this way. If you don’t mind ads based on search preferences, Chrome is the browser for you. But if you absolutely can’t stand ads, such as myself, Safari is the browser to use for your Mac.

But what about security?

Security is a topic that both companies take very seriously. And rightfully so. Google Chrome has all kinds of security features that some say outperform Safari.

For example, Chrome tells you whenever you’re browsing an unsafe website. It will display a “not secure” in the URL tab to tell you that the website is suspicious. Also, Chrome blocks pop-ups, but that’s also a feature of the Safari browser.

Ultimately, the best way to protect yourself is to use a browser that comes with regular updates. Apple ties the Safari updates with the OS updates, which are frequent.

Chrome, on the other hand, pushes changes whenever it feels. It could be a month or a week between Chrome patches.

6. Looks Do Matter

When judging how both browsers look, I can’t give my two cents, as each person is different. 

You might love the slick and clean user interface of the Safari browser, or you might prefer Chrome’s design. Make no mistake, both browsers look good, but you can make Chrome look even better.

If you’re into customization, Chrome gives you tons of options. With Safari, there’s no need to customize, as the focus on minimalism catches the eye.

Regardless, this last one will come down to personal preference. If you prefer the look of Safari over Chrome, the choice is simple. Ultimately, the grid layout system of Apple’s Safari browser is one reason why so many Mac users prefer it.

Conclusion

So with all that said, is Chrome better than Safari for Mac users? In my opinion, no. The Safari browser is native to the macOS. While Chrome does give you more extensions and features, they feel insignificant compared to what Safari offers.

The speed, native controls, less battery consumption, and security and privacy are all valid points in the Safari vs. Chrome debate.

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