Safari is the default browser on all Macs and it’s pretty good. Apple has optimized it for its own chips and the macOS operating system, so it’s fast and syncs nicely with your iPhone and iPad. But there are plenty of other options out there. You’ve probably heard of them (Chrome, Firefox, Brave, DuckDuckGo), but if you’re a long-time Safari user, you might not think you need to stray. Here are five reasons why you might want to try another browser on your Mac.
Mainly uses Google services
If you tend to use web-based apps and services, you might find better experiences with them in a different browser. Apple tends to focus on its own app ecosystem, and the web experience, even for iCloud, isn’t as good as other browsers. For example, Google has several popular web-based apps like Docs, Drive, and Maps, and while all of them can be accessed using Safari, they tend to offer better performance and features when using Chrome. It’s not just Google services that work better in Chrome. Many services are optimized for Chrome and Firefox before Safari, so you’ll likely get a better overall experience with another browser.
You want to customize your browser
While Safari offers several extensions that enhance the browsing experience, it’s nothing compared to what Chrome and Firefox offer. Most of the popular extensions are in Safari, but it tends to be more likely that if you’re looking to use a third-party web-based extension on your Mac, there has been more development work through Chrome or Firefox. From themes to games to utilities, the Chrome and Firefox Add-ons store is packed with useful extensions and add-ons that will make your browser more personal. Apple allows you to customize the home page with an image and links, but that’s pretty much it. In other browsers, the sky is the limit.
you are a web developer
You value your privacy (a lot)
After years of data hacking and the big reveal that giant tech companies have gladly sold your personal data to advertisers, browser companies have started to make privacy a core requirement for browsers, but if private browsing is not enough, there are some excellent options.
Apple prioritizes privacy with Safari and the company has great features built into its browser, but it’s still very focused on Google search. DuckDuckGo, which has earned a reputation as a privacy-focused company and has a search engine that works well with Safari, also has a beta Mac browser designed for security and privacy, with blocked search, smart encryption , and automatic blocking of cookies. And then there’s the Brave browser that blocks ad trackers, doesn’t use AMP, and has a separate search engine.
Duck Duck to win
You use more than just Apple devices
Apple has developed Safari on macOS and iOS to the point where the two are essentially tied together, making it easier to sync content like bookmarks, passwords, and browser history between your Mac and iOS devices. This is fine if you usually work with Mac, iPhone, and iPad every day. But if Windows or Linux are part of your workflow, Google’s Chrome and Microsoft’s Edge browsers have cross-platform functionality through the Google or Microsoft Live accounts you create with the respective browsers. This account is used to sync your browser settings.
No browser stands as the best Swiss Army Knife for everything you need. No web browser demands that you pledge allegiance to it, and the best course of action is to download and install multiple web browsers and see which one handles your daily tasks best. It’s a continuous browser, there are no real winners, and even Microsoft went with an open source model to attract its users. Keep this in mind, have the right tools on hand, and you’ll be fine in the long run.