It’s official. I’m on a quest to simplify, slim down, cut back, trim, and to make my Mac a more efficient tool. Why? I just topped 300 apps on both my iPhone and my Mac. Something had to give.
For example, I have more browsers on my Mac than I have children. And the browsers and children get equal time. If you had to live with only one browser on your Mac, which would it be? Safari? Firefox? Or, the newest, fastest, simplest browser on earth?
Browsers Are A Dime A Dozen
If you look at your Mac day, where do you spend your time? iWork? Microsoft Office? Email? Web browsing in any one of the dozen or so Mac browsers from Safari to Firefox to Opera?
Don’t all browsers do pretty much the same thing?
What do you get? A place to enter a URL. A window to view web pages.
Beyond managing URL bookmarks, all that’s left are cosmetic features, or stuff most of us don’t use, won’t use, or can’t figure out how to use. A browser is a browser, right?
Is there a way to differentiate one browser from another?
Speed, Baby, Speed
Safari is nice to look at and doesn’t have too much to get in the way. Like Mozilla’s Firefox, extensions add functionality for some Mac users.
For me, Safari extensions are a show stopper. By the time I add five or six extensions, Safari begins to drag its heels and slow down worse than me after changing diapers on my kids for the 47th time in a day.
Two out of three isn’t bad, right?
Secure Me, Baby, One More Time
Browsers present a large, easy, and ubiquitous target for bad guys. Every month or so we read of another browser vulnerability or exploit. Google’s Chrome has a nifty sandboxing function. What happens in one tab window stays there. There’s the usual phishing malware prevention tools, too.
Unlike Apple and Safari, Google is willing to talk about security efforts, features, functions that protect users.
Simple Is As Simple Does
What got me to look seriously at other browsers beyond Safari was the flaky performance after installing extensions. I asked myself, “Do extensions really give me more functionality?”
The answer was a simple no. Simple is better. It’s also much faster and more stable. I hate to say it, but even Chrome 6 is more stable, after only two years, than Safari.
What I decided I really wanted was speed, fast page rendering, stability, and security—and no long list of add on functions, bells or whistles. Safari does much of what I want, but, for now, Chrome does it more.
There’s just one little problem with Chrome.
It may be the fastest and most secure browser on the planet, Mac or PC, but it’s also, bar none, the ugliest.
Chrome is the Tommy Lee Jones of browsers. Effective hero, yes. But does the guy ever get kissed by the leading lady?
The engineers at Google must truly hate designers. No wonder they’re all uppity over Apple. It’s functionality vs. chic. Thievery vs. innovation. Crocs vs. Roger Vivier. Safari is clean, elegant, attractive. Chrome is ugly.
Ugly? Seriously, Alex?
Chrome is the Lunar Lander Module from Apollo 16. It wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done.
Just look at Chrome’s tabs. Seriously. But not for too long. There’s that problem with retina burn. I’m sure Chrome’s tabs and icons were designed by a sight impaired engineering committee which used Braille descriptions of Fisher Price toys as a guide.
If Chrome were a woman she’d be a two-bagger.
Sure, Chrome could get dates, but would have to wear two bags over her head. You know, just in case one broke.
If Chrome were a toy it would be in the Top 5 Worst Toys of the Year, just below Baby Alive by Hasbro but ahead of Barbie Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader Doll by Mattel.
So, Chrome works. It’s fast, stable, secure, and ugly. What other redeeming feature makes it a worthy replacement for Safari? Chrome has it’s own comic strip. Chrome has its own blog. Chrome has a beta version landing page. Chrome even has an official video story.
Apple’s Safari doesn’t have any of those things. I’m going with speed, simplicity, and the browser with a comic strip.