5 Reasons Why Safari Rocks Chrome

by Hadley Stern Sep 16, 2008

I've been trying out Chrome since it came out and I must say I'm unimpressed. I don't really care whether Google releases a Mac version or not. We already have the best browser in the world, and its called Safari. Without any further ado I present my 5 reasons by Safari Rocks Chrome.

1. Because it runs on a Mac

This one is an obvious one but it is worth stating clearly. Back in the pre-OS X days us Mac users could put up with (we had to!) software being Windows only first and Mac a year or so later. Not so now. Apart from Safari we have a slew of browsers to chose from that are Mac only and are great. If Chrome is released for the Mac you can bet it will just be a pretty plan-Jane port, not taking advantage of all the built-in goodness OS X has to offer.

2. Because it is what Steve uses

I'm no fanboy (wait, I publish a site that has over a couple of thousand articles and over ten thousand comments, have a collection of over 30 Macs....) but I have a simple philosophy in my computing life--use what Steve uses. Now granted I don't every detail of what software Steve Jobs uses but I'm pretty sure his web-browser of choice is Safari. What that means is that I'm using a product that the best product designer in the world uses day-in and day-out. And I like that. Just like I appreciate that Steve's DNA (and Apple's of course) is in the computer and phone I use I like the fact that Safari is an Apple product. It surprises me and delights me in ways I don't always expect and is part of the Apple user experience

3. Because Google is going to track everything

I'm no privacy wonk. I twitter (all tweets are indexed by Google). I show up in multiple pages in Google search results. But I trust Google as much as I trust Microsoft and I'm more scared of them because they appear to know what they are doing. I've turned off Search History in my google account (you probably don't know, but unless you opt out Google stores all of your searches as a "service" they call Search History) and have already learned that one of the coolest features of Chrome is just another way for Google to collect information about me. The feature is a URL fill-in feature. You know how when you enter a url in Safari that you've been to before it will autocomplete the url for you. Chrome does the same thing except for sites you haven't been to. It is obviously doing this by querying the search engine as you type urls. Cool! That was my original reaction to until it became clear that Google (of course!) would collect this as yet another data point for user behavior.

Apart from this simple example I just don't have the patience to read through the user agreement, the many blog posts interpreting said user agreement to figure out what the heck Google is up to. Do I blindly trust Apple to not do the same with Safari? No. But I know it isn't in Apple's business model to track every click I do. Plus, they are probably too busy trying to fix Mobile Me anyway.

4. Because it is better

Chrome is a clunky browser at best. It appears Google engineers spent all their time figuring out how to collect all of our data and little time working on a great UI. When I first installed it I thought I made a mistake, the thing is so threadbare as to appear to be a mistake. Sure there are tabs, but that is about all Chrome has to offer over Safari. No integration with Mobile Me and a paucity of preferences are what you have to look forward to after install. Oh, and private browsing? Don't make me laugh!

5. Because it already uses WebKit

Perhaps the greatest indication that Google is not interested in true innovation in the browser space is that Chrome uses the same engine as Safari. That's right, good-old-webkit is the thing that powers Chrome. Which makes one wonder why bother? Why bother indeed.

What do you think, would you use Chrome if Google released a version for OS X?


  • I think Chrome is Google’s way of nudging browser development in the direction it wants.

    And the best browser is, without doubt, Firefox 3. The most stable and reliable browser I’ve ever used.

    Chris Howard had this to say on Sep 16, 2008 Posts: 1209
  • I don’t know if I’ll use Chrome as my primary browser on my Mac, but I know a couple things.

    1) I’ll at least wait until the product exists before I make a judgment like “Because it [Safari] is better.”

    2) I don’t understand how you can make statements like “If Chrome is released for the Mac, you can bet it will be a pretty plain-Jane port.” Everything Google is saying points to a browser is not a port of a Windows product, but a real Mac OS X version. Like for instance this statement on the Google Mac Blog:

    One overriding goal we have had from the start has been to build the best browser we can. When it comes to Mac and Linux versions, this means that our goal is not to just “port” a Windows application to these other platforms—rather, our goal is to deliver Chromium’s innovative, Google-style user interface without rough edges on any of them. Chromium’s overall design has been multi-platform from the start, but we are also committed to getting the details right for users on each platform. For an application that most of us “live in” most of the day, rough edges in the user experience or operating system integration are like having a stone in your shoe no matter how well the rest of the product works.

    Not to mention I find it really hard to question whether this product will exist when one of the founders of the company called the lack of a Mac version at launch “embarassing.”

    3) I use Chrome as my primary browser on Windows at work, and find that it works well for me. When it comes out for OS X, I’ll give a shot. That said, on my Mac, I’ve tried lots of different browsers but always come back to Safari. After using Firefox for a couple of years, I found something that (so far) has gotten me to switch. We’ll see what happens.

    Taco John had this to say on Sep 16, 2008 Posts: 5
  • Firefox 3 for me bay-B! (with the Speed Dial plug-in)

    Some of the other plug-ins for Firefox are indispensable for web development such as FireBug, Firesizer and Web Developer.

    Plus Firefox’s bookmarking is much more intuitive than Safari. You can create folders and sub-folders AFTER deciding to bookmark a page, not so with Safari.

    Unfortunately, Google’s Chrome is just one more piece-meal browser developers will have to test for.

    heres2u had this to say on Sep 16, 2008 Posts: 6
  • It’s Firefox 3 for me.  When Chrome comes out for the Mac, I’ll definitely give it a try because I like to see what else is out there.  Competition keeps things moving.

    You only had to come up with five things on your list and you included something as pathetic as “Steve Jobs uses it”?  Jeebus.

    I’m pretty sure Jobs doesn’t use Windows, so how, pray tell, did you even try Chrome out?

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Sep 16, 2008 Posts: 2220
  • LOL! Nice points! Number 2 is my favourite and most valid IMO!

    goobimama had this to say on Sep 16, 2008 Posts: 9
  • chrome is clunky browser at best? You haven’t tried chrome
    have you? As far as I can see chrome has a smoother feel
    compared from safari from the GUI to the browsing experience(the javascript is so fast)  Really, chrome clunky I’m sure Google would make a clunky browser.

    Really just because jobs uses it you use it? Then how do you test out chrome? Right now it only runs on windows so you had to use something that jobs does not use.

    Really Chrome clunky?

    kylepotts had this to say on Sep 16, 2008 Posts: 2
  • btw, sorry H, but because of some of Safari’s problems, I sometimes wonder if Steve does as actually use it. smile

    Chris Howard had this to say on Sep 16, 2008 Posts: 1209
  • “We already have the best browser in the world, and its called Safari”


    Safari 1 and 2 were hideous, incomplete browsing experiences and at the time the only way to get a new version was to wait for the next OS X iteration. That changed with version 3, but it’s still by no means the best browser out there.

    For day-to-day browsing I still use Safari because I like the Mac feel to it, which the others still don’t quite have, but until v.3 I used the (then) superior Camino. However, Safari is the only browser I use that can CRASH THE WHOLE OPERATING SYSTEM, and often because I did something as demanding as open 20 tabs and two of them had Flash and/or JavaScript running. On a Quad Core machine. With 6 Gig of RAM. And the BROWSER can CRASH the damn machine!

    In fact, with the last couple of sites ‘ve built, I’ve thrown in some tricky, yet valid, CSS to get the effects I want. And a little jQuery for polish. Opera is fine. Firefox 2 and 3 are fine. Even IE6 was fine - it needed just a couple of simple alternative bits of CSS that took maybe 10 minutes of work. The one that’s still not working correctly? Safari. Safari 3, in fact. I daren’t even go back to previous versions. I had to build alternative stylesheets for Safari, which is “the best browser in the world”!

    And now I’m torn between supporting it and not. Analytics back up that, well, nobody uses it much on the sites I build. But I know that’ll change, what with the iPhone running Safari. So do I chance leaving out the crappy, hardly-used mess that is Safari? In 6 months time, will I have dozens of iPhone users thinking I made a crap site, because their browser doesn’t like it? And what are we supposed to do when standard HTML/CSS works in Safari 2 but breaks in 3? I’m dreading version 4.

    The future browser I’m worried about is not Internet Explorer 8 but Safari 4. “best browser in the world” my arse. It’s still only beta quality.


    evilcat had this to say on Sep 17, 2008 Posts: 66
  • My safari has tabs.  If Chrome is as fast on OS X I will use it often.

    RIP had this to say on Sep 17, 2008 Posts: 1
  • I think Chrome using Webkit is a great thing. Webkit is also based on open source, it’s designed to allow multiple providers… that’s not a bad thing at all.

    Anyway - Chrome gets Webkit into more user and developers’ hands, and Webkit is being used in Android too. It’s a significant movement in where attention will focus, and Apple & Google are both following a related strategy for web-application development.

    All that said - I’ll probably end up continuing to use Safari & Firefox. But I’m a Mac user, and I don’t think we’re Google’s main target by a long shot, since I think that as long as we’re using Webkit (and thus supporting this alternative to Microsoft) then Google is happy.

    Greg Alexander had this to say on Sep 17, 2008 Posts: 228
  • Page 1 of 1 pages
You need log in, or register, in order to comment