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View Full Version : Pro's/Con's Safari Vs Chrome Vs Firefox




PrashP
Sep 8, 2011, 11:54 AM
I currently use firefox but I heard even though it has the best extensions it isn't the fastest.

Which browser do you guys think will work best with Lion



3bs
Sep 8, 2011, 12:25 PM
I currently use firefox but I heard even though it has the best extensions it isn't the fastest.

Which browser do you guys think will work best with Lion

Best with Lion? Safari. Until Chrome and Firefox release updates maybe

McGiord
Sep 8, 2011, 12:27 PM
Chrome gives you Angry Birds for freeeeeee...eeee..eeeee

kasakka
Sep 8, 2011, 01:20 PM
Firefox
+ Biggest number of extensions
+ Quite customizable
+ Best web development tools (but only by a tiny bit)
+ Seems to handle Gawker network sites (Gizmodo, Lifehacker etc) better than other browsers for some reason
- Extensions tend to get disabled between versions until developers update the version tag
- Font rendering is not as good as Webkit based browsers (Chrome, Safari)
- Slower startup than Safari or Chrome
- The UI is not all that great

Chrome
+ Generally on top when it comes to web technology support
+ Clean sleek UI
+ Nice features even without extensions
+ Rapid development
+ Comes with web development tools
- No application shortcuts in OSX
- No smooth scroll support without extensions
- Backing up preferences etc made unnecessarily hard

Safari
+ Native
+ Great download implementation (OSX Lion only)
- Slow development, barely any new features between versions
- No address bar search by default
- Lacks lots of basic features (requires Glims to add these in)
- Not quite as fast as Chrome
- Extensions page seems to be rarely updated, plenty of extensions available from other sources than Apple's Extension Gallery

Honestly, unless you're a power user, you can pick any of these and be fine. For most it comes down to personal preferences like having a certain feature or something working a certain way. I use Chrome in Windows, Firefox for work (I'm a web developer) and Safari for other stuff on OSX.

err404
Sep 8, 2011, 02:08 PM
Safari - Gesture integration makes this my browser of choice on my iMac. However, due to memory issues, I avoid it on my older machines.

Chrome (Canary nightly build) - Lightweight and integrated Flash. I use this on my iMac when Flash content is required. It is also my primary browser on older Macs.

Firefox - It's a competent browser, but I don't find Firefox to excel in any important area.

stephen1108
Sep 8, 2011, 03:09 PM
Ever since I installed Lion and Safari 5.1 on my Late 2010 MacBook Pro 13 with 4 GB of RAM, it has been completely horrible. The beach ball was my best friend for a while, as while running Safari, I swear that's all I would ever get.

Dale Sorel
Sep 8, 2011, 03:14 PM
I'm currently using the dev build 15.0.874.3, which has had the full screen thingy for a while. I think it rocks :D

LIVEFRMNYC
Sep 8, 2011, 06:58 PM
Firefox

- Extensions tend to get disabled between versions until developers update the version tag



This is easily bypassed using the "Nighty Tester Tools" extension. I've found most still work. Very few don't.

iamBrian
Sep 8, 2011, 10:50 PM
Initially, the gesture capability in Safari kept me using it, but I eventually downloaded the Chrome beta which has gestures as well. I prefer Chrome for its UI, sync, and default search bar.

Lokheed
Sep 9, 2011, 12:00 AM
On the longer startup time for Firefox. What's the deal? Been like that since day one. You'd think after some 7 major versions, and quad cores almost becoming standard, they'd be able to solve that. That it might be a priority... always struck me as strange.

jnpy!$4g3cwk
Sep 9, 2011, 12:13 AM
This is easily bypassed using the "Nighty Tester Tools" extension. I've found most still work. Very few don't.
Look at Add-on compatibility reporter.

In any case, I used all three today:

Firefox for configurability, security, extensions, security extensions, the fact that it still works with many tabs open

Chrome (still 32-bit!) when I needed Flash

Safari when I needed to use Webex

Hyper-X
Sep 9, 2011, 12:38 AM
Firefox
+ Biggest number of addons.
+ Quite customizable


Chrome
+ Generally on top when it comes to web technology support
+ Clean and lean UI
+ Simple features, powerful interface
+ First mainstream browser to implement sandboxing
+ Rapid development
+ Comes with web development tools
+ Best mainstream browser to support HTML5 at present
- No application shortcuts in OSX
- No smooth scroll support without extensions
- Backing up preferences etc made unnecessarily hard
- No ability to clear browser cache upon exit

Safari
+ Native
+ Great download implementation (OSX Lion only)
+ Sandboxing feature with 5.1 Lion only
- Slow development, barely any new features between versions
- Slowest of the 3 main browsers
- No address bar search by default
- No ability to clear browser cache upon exit
- Lacks lots of basic features (requires Glims to add these in)
- Memory leaks, worst of all browsers
- Extensions page seems to be rarely updated, plenty of extensions available from other sources than Apple's Extension Gallery


Fixed.

BlackMangoTree
Sep 9, 2011, 01:16 AM
On Lion Safari hands down is the best browser.

marc11
Sep 9, 2011, 02:14 AM
On Lion Safari hands down is the best browser.

No way, at the moment both Chrome and Firefox offer lower CPU and Memory usage and do not crash nearly as often as Safari (at least for me) not to mention Safari`s issue with the occasional scroll issues and extension bugs. Safari will get there and I prefer it over Firefox, but for now, Safari is my number two browser.

I was forced to use Chrome because a plug in for a video streaming site would not work in the 64 bit versions of Firefox or Safari, and I have to say, Chrome, while not perfect is pretty slick. Friefox may soon get deleted as I am sick and tired of losing extension compatability everytime Mozilla farts out a new version (which seems to be every few weeks now)

Mawal
Sep 9, 2011, 04:17 AM
I use Chrome on Lion and on the SL machines. It is fast, it is easy, the sync and automatic updates work flawlessly in the background.

Chrome runs in a sandbox and it brings its own flash support. Meaning other than with chrome, I have no flash installed on my macs.

Safari is nice, but no omnibox, no sync, and these obnoxious and difficult to customize top pages are a no go for me.

MacBH928
Sep 9, 2011, 05:01 AM
FireFox used to be the best until I upgraded to lion now its the worst
Chrome has issues on Lion too, I always found that browser made my fans go crazy on Leopard and lion, especially with H264 video amazingly!!

Safari seems the best currently, and one huge +
Flash video doesn't seem to make my laptop run hot!
I dunno how that happens, but its happening!

btw, when they talk about browser rendering speed,
don't give a damn, the difference is like 1 sec or 2 sec max for each page

vitzr
Sep 9, 2011, 05:13 AM
Chrome. No contest. It's superfast especially on an SSD equipped Mac.

They've got plenty of extensions now. More importantly they've got some that do things so advanced, no other browser comes close.

Backing up your user data, profile etc is very easy if you take the responsibility to learn it.

lukekarts
Sep 9, 2011, 05:14 AM
I've tried all 3. About 5 years ago I made the switch to Firefox (though not on Lion). One frustration for me with Firefox is the slow startup, it's always been like that. Damn frustrating for the odd time you just wanna open your MacBook, quickly google something, and then put it back to sleep. Functionality wise, once running, it's hard to fault.

I used Safari when I first got my MacBook 2 years ago, and again when I got my MBA a few weeks back. Don't like it. The interface is less intuitive, it seems least reliable of all web browsers I've tried (in terms of crashes and some site compatibility issues) and I don't like the lack of integrated search functionality to the http bar. I also find tabbed browsing less intuitive.

And then comes Chrome. I never thought I'd enjoy a web browser more than Firefox but Chrome is easily the fastest web browser I've used, the most intiutive and functional browser for quick or prolonged use. It also handles flash better than both Safari and Firefox, which is exceptionally important on OSX.

So yeah, Chrome IMO is easily the best web browser, at least for typical everyday usage.

ahbdesign
Sep 9, 2011, 05:22 AM
I've always been a safari person as I love the top sites feature. And lion's new gestures are quite nice.

However chrome is very very fast but the lack of gestures now keep me going back to safari.

I suggest you should use safari with Clicktoflash and YouTube5. Safari without the flash plugins works really well.

PrashP
Sep 9, 2011, 07:30 AM
Well seeming as I don't have a Magic Trackpad for my old MBP gestures is irrelevant so going with chrome seems like the best idea.

PrashP
Sep 9, 2011, 08:13 AM
http://img21.imageshack.us/img21/4603/screenshot20110909at090.png (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/21/screenshot20110909at090.png/)

Clearly my Mac doesn't like me for abandoning Firefox. I don't want to upset her anymore so Safari it is!...or firefox.....whichever she prefers me to use :mad:

ahbdesign
Sep 10, 2011, 06:17 AM
Forgot to mention Safari's Reader function! Absolutely love that because I read a lot of articles and you have to constantly adjust to the different sized text. Cant wait for this function to reach iOS! Fall can't come any sooner!

Mackilroy
Sep 10, 2011, 10:29 AM
I generally use Chrome for everything, sans one specific website which only lets me see new posts if I use Firefox. For now, Chrome is far faster and uses less RAM/CPU than Firefox - though FF9 does help quite a bit.

DocNYz
Sep 10, 2011, 10:52 AM
I've always been a safari person as I love the top sites feature. And lion's new gestures are quite nice.

However chrome is very very fast but the lack of gestures now keep me going back to safari.

I suggest you should use safari with Clicktoflash and YouTube5. Safari without the flash plugins works really well.

Yeah while blocking flash safari is by far the most stable for me in Lion.

I I need stable flash access or extensions, I'll open up Firefox.

If unjust want something quick that might be in a weird/old/unusual format, I'll open up chrome, but it hasn't been quitting for me, has this happened to anyone else?

paoj
Apr 8, 2012, 08:45 PM
FireFox used to be the best until I upgraded to lion now its the worst
Chrome has issues on Lion too, I always found that browser made my fans go crazy on Leopard and lion, especially with H264 video amazingly!!

Safari seems the best currently, and one huge +
Flash video doesn't seem to make my laptop run hot!
I dunno how that happens, but its happening!

page

Switching back to Safari from Chrome. Fans go nuts too, on chrome I hit 6000rpm but on Safari it hovers a little above 2100rpm.

CPU usage is dramatically lower too.

Until they fix this, I'll stick to Safari.

anupash
Apr 9, 2012, 07:52 AM
Firefox
Handling a huge amount of tabs
Best memory management (You can configure every aspect of it using about:config)
Extensions. Mind blowing
Not well integrated with Lion gestures. Absolutely fine for SL.

Chrome
Fastest. But horrendous use of memory
Fair number of extensions
Seamless upgrade

Safari
********* of all
Worst tab handling
Worst memory management
Getting Extensions is not so convenient
Very less number of extensions
Browser performance becomes horrendous after opening more than a handful number of tabs
Configurability is a big issue

throAU
Apr 9, 2012, 08:05 AM
Safari
+ Native
+ Great download implementation (OSX Lion only)
- Slow development, barely any new features between versions
- No address bar search by default


i consider this a FEATURE.. if i want to search i'll use the search box.

best features for me are overflow history/bookmarks and iCloud sync.

kooskoos1814
Apr 9, 2012, 09:11 AM
i consider this a FEATURE.. if i want to search i'll use the search box.

best features for me are overflow history/bookmarks and iCloud sync.
Just install Safari 5.2 Beta and you're good to go, now you have Chrome's omnibar on Safari ;-)

I use both Chrome and Safari, but tend to use mainly Safari since the 5.2 is out because of it's better integration with OS X (and this 2 finger tap to zoom like iOS, perfect on my 11'' screen).

MacBH928
Apr 9, 2012, 11:12 PM
I have been using firefox for a long time
while it is a good browser it just doesnt play nice with the mac
* themes dont work well
* gui is meh
* slower than the other 2 browsers
* plugins r ok but I bet its very heavy on it after u instal 5 or more of them
* password remembering is horrible, keeps asking for permission
* needs to be forced quit almost everytime

Safari is best just has missing features like search in the url bar and keyword search, thats about it i guess. wats wrong with tab handling?

Bear
Apr 10, 2012, 06:51 AM
Another negative for Chrome. How much more information does it allow Google to collect about you.

miknos
Apr 10, 2012, 08:35 AM
Just a matter of taste based on what you do.

iCaleb
Apr 10, 2012, 09:18 AM
The only bad thing about chrome is it's issues with youtube videos.

It always says missing plugin at least most of the time.

By the way I have the latest version of flash and chrome.

I went back to FF for now.

MonkeySee....
Apr 10, 2012, 09:29 AM
Just install Safari 5.2 Beta and you're good to go, now you have Chrome's omnibar on Safari ;-)

I use both Chrome and Safari, but tend to use mainly Safari since the 5.2 is out because of it's better integration with OS X (and this 2 finger tap to zoom like iOS, perfect on my 11'' screen).

Or get the extension.

appleapple2
Apr 10, 2012, 11:13 AM
Lion makes no difference

Safari is slow and limited

Chrome has poor UI and is very limited, sure some Dev tools are better then FireBug (on FF) but that's about it

FF is faster and the UI is whatever you want it to be, the only time FF slower is if you add on too many add-ons. Also FF listens to its users and designs around what they want.

Try pressing Cmd+B on all three browsers to see what your missing
then press it again, poof! magic

MonkeySee....
Apr 10, 2012, 11:28 AM
Lion makes no difference

Safari is slow and limited

Chrome has poor UI and is very limited, sure some Dev tools are better then FireBug (on FF) but that's about it

FF is faster and the UI is whatever you want it to be, the only time FF slower is if you add on too many add-ons. Also FF listens to its users and designs around what they want.

Try pressing Cmd+B on all three browsers to see what your missing
then press it again, poof! magic

Safari is quicker than FF on my iMac. Not sure why you think its slow?

MacBH928
Apr 10, 2012, 11:35 PM
The only bad thing about chrome is it's issues with youtube videos.

It always says missing plugin at least most of the time.

By the way I have the latest version of flash and chrome.

I went back to FF for now.
i think this is because of installing adblock and flash block
used to get a ton of errors before deleting them (or disabling them on utube)

I dunno where the Safari is slow comes from. Safari is made by apple, its optimized for their OS. Firezfox does not even have Keychain itegration last time I checked, heck it doesnt even have proper themes for the Mac.

Maybe FF plays nicer with older systems and Safari needs more power, thats why you see Safari as slower, maybe your system is old.

FF is great if it appeals to you, but it is not faster or more usable than Safari. It only has the extensions advantage which for 90% of users, its not that big of a deal

KingJosh
Apr 14, 2012, 11:33 PM
I use both Safari and Chrome randomly.

if I go to chrome://memory-redirect/ in chrome then it shows chrome using much much more memory than safari on the same pages open from fresh start. I look in activity monitor and add up and Safari is using loads more. I don't know which to trust :S I would have put faith in activity monitor but then I wonder where chrome gets all this other stuff from.

I prefer the UI in safari but chrome feels snappier and no beachballs. I like the Download manager in Safari more but that is NA. I hear great things about Safari in ML so I guess I will probably move to Safari with ML releases. For now I am stuck between the two.

FF is leaps behind both chrome and safari imo. Looks and performance it suffers. Too bad because it was a blessing back when it first released.

yawns
Apr 15, 2012, 03:18 AM
I think this is a matter of taste. Personally I prefer FF. I don't like the Safari UI and I feel like it's missing a lot of features. I also feel like it's less secure.

FF is extremely customizable and feature-rich with its about:config + useful extensions. Adblock, noscript, cookie white-listing, and firebug are either crippled or non-existent in other browsers. I also like "find as you type" and custom searches from the address bar.

Chrome was very fast, but I abandoned it for the following reasons:
- History/cache management is extremely limited.
- Javascript white-listing is tedious.
- A lot of its extensions require javascript to be enabled on the page to work.

I'm not sure what gestures people are talking about missing outside of Safari. In FF you can two finger swipe to go back and forth in history. Does Safari do others?

Edit: Here's a quick post/discussion by the noscript developers on why only Firefox is able to offer true javascript/ad blocking.

http://hackademix.net/2010/06/08/before-you-ask-no-noscript-on-safari/

IMHO if a browser doesn't allow for granular control over javascript/flash/cookies/ads and cannot stop loading that garbage before it reaches the system, than it is inherently less secure.

dacoolest
Apr 15, 2012, 03:51 AM
Works best with Lion - Safari.

I use safari and its enough for me. The only add-on I need is an adblock plugin. Firefox seems to have large number of addons and thats an advantage. I don't care about the speed difference either. Cos as far as i know, there won't be a difference of hours of page loading time between browsers. so the time would be very small if theres a page load time difference. I just like safari and I use it.

tmanto02
Apr 15, 2012, 06:50 PM
Is one browser better than the other at handling flash based sites? I use safari and my CPU goes crazy when browsing flash-built sites!!! :confused::confused::confused:

ixodes
Apr 15, 2012, 07:06 PM
On Lion Safari hands down is the best browser.

After the fastest, most stable & efficient browser of all... Google Chrome.

Now with a plethora of extensions, apps, and other useful ad-ons, it leaves Firefox & others far behind.

The incredible speed of development & improvement of both browser & ad-ons, places Chrome well ahead of the pack.

Those who cannot grasp this fact haven't stayed current with what's happening in the browser space.

----------

Is one browser better than the other at handling flash based sites? I use safari and my CPU goes crazy when browsing flash-built sites!!! :confused::confused::confused:

It's a well known fact that Apple & Flash is like oil & water. To be avoided at all costs.

Only Windows runs flash fast, cool & effortlessly.

jnl1211
Apr 15, 2012, 07:23 PM
I use FF due to it's the smoothest and has much better privacy settings than the other 2.

Kaoxt
Apr 19, 2012, 02:45 AM
After the fastest, most stable & efficient browser of all... Google Chrome.

Now with a plethora of extensions, apps, and other useful ad-ons, it leaves Firefox & others far behind.

The incredible speed of development & improvement of both browser & ad-ons, places Chrome well ahead of the pack.

Those who cannot grasp this fact haven't stayed current with what's happening in the browser space.

----------



It's a well known fact that Apple & Flash is like oil & water. To be avoided at all costs.

Only Windows runs flash fast, cool & effortlessly.

It really depends on your definition of speed. Chrome still has problems with scrolling and is very choppy on websites. (see for example desktop threads with large images). Firefox handles these perfectly, where Chrome is still choppy / lagging behind.

Chrome also cannot handle lots of tabs, and it's a known issue. I am very up to date on browsers and Firefox is quickly catching right back up to Chrome in their latest builds. The difference between Firefix and Chrome now is very slim, and the gap will be getting closer and closer as more updates take place. Firefox is no longer falling behind with their sped up releases.

Chrome is thankfully credited with Firefox getting on the ball again.

Michaelgtrusa
Apr 19, 2012, 06:02 AM
For some reason chrome and all of it's versions trigger a server issue where it causes MacRumors to hang and it can take several min to free up. This all depends on your location, but I haven't been able to find the cause.

ixodes
Apr 19, 2012, 01:14 PM
It really depends on your definition of speed. Chrome still has problems with scrolling and is very choppy on websites. (see for example desktop threads with large images). Firefox handles these perfectly, where Chrome is still choppy / lagging behind.

Chrome also cannot handle lots of tabs, and it's a known issue. I am very up to date on browsers and Firefox is quickly catching right back up to Chrome in their latest builds. The difference between Firefix and Chrome now is very slim, and the gap will be getting closer and closer as more updates take place. Firefox is no longer falling behind with their sped up releases.

Chrome is thankfully credited with Firefox getting on the ball again.

I'm not responding to argue or challenge your experience. But I must say it's completely contrary to mine. I find Chrome smooth, fast, and completely glitch free. I'm certainly not advocating for Google, or any company for that matter.

I use both Macs and PC's at home and work. My new BTO 15" MBP is my favorite by quite a margin over my new ThinkPad, but then again it's a matter of using PowerBooks and MBP's for years as my personal laptop of choice.

Perhaps a fresh clean install of Chrome (if you're so inclined) may provide you with the superb experience I am currently enjoying.

Firefox was my favorite for years, yet unfortunately in my experience they've simply not been able to keep up with Chrome.

It's important to note, that due to the nature of my work flow and desire to keep up with the latest developments, I use the current versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and on the PC side, IE. So the only point being... I do have an ongoing, concurrent, baseline of experience with the most popular browsers.

Finally there's the personal preference factor, which in my opinion is the best benchmark of all. :)

----------

Another negative for Chrome. How much more information does it allow Google to collect about you.
Oh, that's easy to answer. Google knows absolutely everything about everyone.

In fact I was a bit surprised to learn that they know exactly how many eyelashes I have.

It must be the exemplary camera on my MBP ... :eek:

sovereign
Apr 20, 2012, 01:19 PM
For some reason chrome and all of it's versions trigger a server issue where it causes MacRumors to hang and it can take several min to free up. This all depends on your location, but I haven't been able to find the cause.

I cannot believe this is not pointed out more often. Every few months I give Chrome a try. The first couple of minutes and it seems FAST. But then, when opening links in a new tab it will just hang and sit there, and sit there, and finally I have to close the tab and try again. Often I must try many times for it to open a link in a new tab. Many forums I visit are set up up to open links in a new tab, and I prefer that. But Chrome is incapable of handling this. And there are no updates to fix this- ever.

Michaelgtrusa
Apr 20, 2012, 05:33 PM
I cannot believe this is not pointed out more often. Every few months I give Chrome a try. The first couple of minutes and it seems FAST. But then, when opening links in a new tab it will just hang and sit there, and sit there, and finally I have to close the tab and try again. Often I must try many times for it to open a link in a new tab. Many forums I visit are set up up to open links in a new tab, and I prefer that. But Chrome is incapable of handling this. And there are no updates to fix this- ever.

Thier is a tread in the site feedback section on page loading issues where I mentioned this with no luck but I have to use a different browser to use this site as chrome/chromium will hang after visiting a few pages.

phyrexia
Apr 20, 2012, 08:00 PM
I use both Safari and Chrome randomly.

if I go to chrome://memory-redirect/ in chrome then it shows chrome using much much more memory than safari on the same pages open from fresh start. I look in activity monitor and add up and Safari is using loads more. I don't know which to trust :S I would have put faith in activity monitor but then I wonder where chrome gets all this other stuff from.

I'm sorry I can't cite where this came from right now, but I read an article or an interview with a Chrome developer some time ago and he said something to the effect that Chrome overestimates its memory usage.

I'd trust Activity Monitor at any rate. :)

naxir
Apr 20, 2012, 08:01 PM
I like chrome because of its syncing. My laptop runs OSX, my desktop runs Windows, and my netbook runs Linux. With chrome, all of my bookmarks and saved passwords are always synced. Inspector is also nice, as is the fact that it generally implements the latest standards rather quickly.