You may not have noticed, but there’s a war going on for the hearts and minds of Mac users everywhere. Oh, for our eyeballs, too.
It’s called the Browser Wars. Everyone who makes a browser wants our eyeballs to feast on their latest accomplishments. Speed. Features. Cool logo. What do we get in return. Great web browsers to love and hate.
It’s A Love And Hate Thing
Here and there I’m going to complain about browsers for the Mac. But, I recognize that we’re entering the Golden Age of Browsers™. All major browsers are much better than they ever were, and getting better.
Competition is a good thing. Google and Apple and Mozilla compete against each other with Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
I could mention Opera, but seriously, do you know anyone who uses Opera full time and doesn’t have a geek tattoo somewhere?
It’s the Ron Paul of browsers. Interesting, hard working, but just doesn’t stand a chance, and doesn’t get the respect it wants. The three major Mac browsers account for about 99-percent of all Mac generated web traffic, so I’ll love and hate those three.
Love? They’re fast. So fast at rendering most pages that it’s difficult to tell the difference between them. Love? They’re free. Each browser comes with plenty of add ons for more functionality.
Hate? Now it gets messy and individual. I hate that Adobe Flash doesn’t function as well in Safari or Firefox as Flash does in the built-in version of Google’s Chrome. What’s with that?
Hate? There’s no easy way to synchronize bookmarks between the three browsers without using a third party app or service (Xmarks).
Hate? Why does Google have to prove to the world that they don’t appreciate good design? We get it. They’re engineers. Their products are supposed to look ugly. We’re not disappointed?
Hate? The latest Safari has a nasty bug that requires a refresh of open tabs in open browser windows. Oh, I hate that. Something is crashing, but not crashing Safari, which causes a need to reload. At least it doesn’t crash the browser.
Hate? I don’t like that Firefox looks so much like a Windows browser (then again, Chrome looks ugly on both Mac and PC). Mac apps are different. But I love those Firefox add ons. Safari and Chrome don’t compete.
Love? I love Safari’s Reading List. That is such a handy way to track web pages for reading sooner than later. And, on the faster Macs, Resume is great, bringing back all the pages you had from the last browsing session.
Hate? Why isn’t there a good cookie manager in any of the three golden browsers? Because advertisers like cookies. Web sites like cookies. Safari, Firefox, and Chrome are supported by search engine searches from Google, and Google likes cookies for their advertisers.
Love? Chrome’s new built in updater simply updates to the latest version. Firefox requires a manual update. Safari requires us to wait for Apple.
Enough? The list displays more Hate than Love, but in reality, there’s much to appreciate about all three browsers, especially as they try to outdo each other and build a better products. Netscape? Internet Explorer? We hardly knew yet.