Many new Mac users simply use Apple’s Safari web browser because it comes pre-loaded on their machine. Safari is all right, but I much prefer Google Chrome for both casual browsing and web development. Chrome is free for both Windows and Mac users and it offers free syncing with other computers and Android phones, an advanced “view source” window, themes and extensions, and it supports all of Apple’s multi-touch gestures. Read on to learn why I prefer Google Chrome over Safari.
The first thing I notice about Safari is the user interface. I find the UI to be pretty dull and plain compared to Chrome’s. The bookmarks bar does not support favicons, folders are simply drop-down menus, and everything is grey. Tabs in Safari are underneath the bookmarks bar, but tabs in Google Chrome are above everything. This not only gives Chrome a more modern look, but it also saves space. Safari also has a grey bar at the bottom of the window which can look ugly compared to Chrome.
Syncing is a concept that both Google and Apple implement into their browsers. Safari syncs via iCloud with other computers and iOS devices that use Safari. Google Chrome also syncs with other computers, Android smartphones, and Chrome for Android. If you have an iPhone or iPad, you will most likely prefer Safari’s syncing services and if you are an Android user, Chrome will appeal more to you. Although syncing bookmarks is cool, I don’t think it is a necessity. I do not need bookmarks to eBay and PayPal on my phone because I would rather use the apps than visit the website… I use my computer and phone for different types of browsing.
Another feature that Google Chrome offers is a master login for Google services. Once you sign in to the browser in the application preferences, you will never be asked to log into any Google service. When you visit Gmail, Blogger, Google Analytics, YouTube, Google+, or any other Google service, Chrome will automatically log you in. Safari offers a similar function, but it is simply a password saver. You still have to look at the login screen and you still have to actually log in — you just don’t have to type the password. With Google Chrome, you completely bypass the login screen.
One of my biggest complaints about Firefox for Mac is that multi-touch gestures are not compatible. On Safari and Chrome, you can simply swipe either left or right on a Magic Mouse or trackpad to go back or forward. This is a feature that I enjoy with Safari and I am glad to see that Google has added all of Apple’s gestures to Chrome.
The feature that sets Chrome apart from Safari the most is the large library of themes and extensions. Themes allow you to give your browser a fresh look and some personal touches. Chrome’s extensions can do anything from allowing you to download a video from YouTube to being able to live edit a webpage. The only Chrome extension I use daily is FireBug, but there are thousands of available extensions that each add a unique feature to your browser.
Download: Google Chrome