We devoted a whole week to dig through the healthy list of Mac browsers. What did we find?
All are fast and fun. Some are quirky. Most are stable. A few are perfect for kids and schools. A couple make developers happy. In the end, only one browser can be the most popular, the most used by Mac users. What makes it number one? Features? Nope. Price? Nah. Good looks? Maybe. Speed. Uh, no.
The Top Browser On Planet Earth
Generally speaking, Mac or PC, the single most used browser on the internet is a Windows-only browser. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, in all its glorious versions and porous security, is used by more people than all other browser users combined.
Does Internet Explorer’s quality and features make it Number One?
Of course, not. MSIE 5, 6, and 7 are universally loathed by most users.
MSIE 8 was an improvement that still trails Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. MSIE 9 looks promising. Internet Explorer is numero uno on Windows PCs because it’s the default browser.
Is that the same way it is with Apple’s Mac users? Is the most popular Mac browser popular because it’s the default browser?
In a word, probably.
The Top Mac Browser On Planet Earth
It’s all about the Mac, right. Browser Week: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, The Best gave us a detailed look at popular Mac browsers.
First, there was the much loved Camino: The Mac Browser We Want To Use But Don’t. It’s pretty, fast, lean, clean, stable, and based on the innards of Mozilla’s Firefox.
It’s the Pee-wee Herman of Mac browsers. Everyone likes it, but no one touches it. Camino is relegated to less than 1-percent of Mac users.
Then we sliced and diced iCab: The Little Mac Browser That Asks, “Why Me?” The quirkiest of Mac browsers has features others don’t. Maybe the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.
We traveled back to 1997 and asked, Why Get The Mac Browser With Ancient Functions? Sea Monkey is Mozilla’s 21st century version of Netscape Communicator. It’s packed with Newsgroups, Email, Web Page Editor, Chat, and Mozilla Extensions, but no love. Not even half a percent of Mac users show any love to Sea Monkey.
What’s The Mac Browser That’s Older Than Internet Explorer? There was a day, back in the day, when OmniWeb ruled on NeXT, was reborn on Mac OS X, and still looks and feels like a Mac browser. Alas, I’m probably the only Mac user in the world that thinks so.
Those of you loving Mac users with children, rejoice. One day, if you’re lucky, your children will move out on their own and browse the web using their own Macs, not yours. In the meantime, here are 3 Ways To Get A Safe And Secure Mac Browser Just For Kids. If you don’t have kids, you don’t need two of the three browsers on the the kid’s list.
How about quirky, crazy, odd ball Mac browsers? Here are 5 Crazy Nutty Ways To Browse Different On Your Mac. One of them is called Flock. It’s a social browser. Flock. Social. Get it?
That brings me to the Mac and Windows and iPhone browser that doesn’t get any respect despite 12 Ways This Mac And PC Browser Actually Thinks Different. Opera is also #4 on my list of The Top 4 Most Popular Mac Browsers On Planet Earth.
It’s strange. Opera is fast, stable, renders pages quite well, is loaded with a bunch of user friendly features, yet barely 2-percent of the world’s browser users use Opera, and less than 1-percent of Mac users. Why bother?
Worldwide, on Macs and PCs, Opera comes in at #5 on the Most Used Browser List. For Mac users, take Microsoft’s Internet Explorer off the list, and Opera is #4. I knows me some math, folks.
After that, it’s not even a horse race.
#3 is Google’s new Chrome browser (Mac and PC) which is based on WebKit (same as Safari).
So, it’s fast, stable, secure, bare, lean, and easily the ugliest browser on the planet. Have you seen those Chrome tabs? Puhleeze. Katy Perry on Sesame Street it is not. Miss Piggy, maybe. They both show cleavage, but only one is a porker.
#2 among all Mac users, to the tune of about 20-percent (according to Mac360’s statistics) is Mozilla’s venerable Firefox, which also claims about 25-percent usage worldwide. Why not more? Back to why Internet Explorer is #1. It’s the default. Firefox isn’t a default anything for Mac users. Like Tea Party candidates in the U.S., Firefox is an acquired taste browser. It’s fine for some, not for most, but always in the headlines.
That leaves us at #1, numero uno, the browser loved and used by more Mac users than any other Mac browser on planet earth or even the Goldilocks Planet. Apple’s own Safari, the Julia Roberts of Mac browsers.
She’s (Safari) got it all. Looks. Features. Affection. Respect. She’s nimble, attractive, aging well, with just enough features, but a little bit unstable here and there, and in constant conflict with its co-star (Adobe’s Flash).
There you have it. Safari is #1 followed by Firefox, Google’s Chrome, and Opera. What’s #1 for you and why? Share with us in the Comments section.