Safari VS Chrome: An Experiment

I’m a huge Google fanboy. I’ll disclose that right now. But when it comes to hardware, you just can’t beat a macbook. And really, when it comes to full featured OS, you can’t beat OSX. One thing has always bothered me though, petty as it may be. The “Apps using significant energy” bar, Chrome is always at the top of the list. I wouldn’t put it past Apple to be straight up lying about that, it’s not like they haven’t done something similar before.

So just wanted to see for myself the difference. For one day i will be using only Safari. These are my notes on the experience.

Right off the bat:
Right away there’s a few things bothering me. There is too much clutter in the nav bar.
Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 10.15.43 AM.png
I don’t care about any bookmarks. Kill that please. I don’t care about sharing, iCloud, reader, or really even downloads. Kill them. I do care about my tabs, but unfortunately they’re small and seem underplayed. Also no favicon support? And no pinning tabs? I have at least 3 utility tabs open all the time. So now my tab bar is cluttered as well. However, all that aside, it’s not “using significant energy” (whatever that means). And it does feel….snappier.

About an hour in:
I had to install Flash. I’ll let that sink in for a moment. Maybe I’m a victim of myself, but I use Google Play Music at work, all day. Apparently it relies on Flash. I guess that’s Google’s issue not Apple’s though. I assume that Chrome ships with some version of flash. That may be closer to the root of the significant energy usage though. More features = more energy? Even after installing flash, it doesn’t look like Play Music is going to work. So I’m using Chrome to do that.
Other nitpicks, the refresh button is placed terribly. I suppose that Apple has always been one to push keyboard shortcuts, but that doesn’t men you can throw all UX out the window. At this point I’m seriously wondering how daily Safari users do it.

An hour and a half in:
There are no developer tools. At this point safari is completely unusable. I’m trying to hold out but I don’t know how safari can even hold a candle. I can see, maybe, if you’re an ‘average user’ who just wants to check their email or whatnot. But if you’re doing anything beyond that at all or want any kind of extensibility to speak of, safari just can’t cut it.

Moral of the story:
Features come at a cost. Sure MS-Paint may use significantly less resources than Photoshop, but does that mean you shouldn’t use it? That’s for you to decide, but my answer is no. I want to be clear that Safari is not unusable because Google has me so entrenched in their filthy services that I just can’t possibly break free. Safari can’t cut it for me because it’s incoherent, unnecessarily slim, and just all around a pain to use. I’ll be switching back to Chrome now, gladly. 64 bit or not. I would recommend if you don’t want to be tracked, use Firefox? Safari as it stands, well, it really doesn’t stand. It’s a joke.


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