Both web browsing giants have two different integration models; Having been Developed by Apple for Apple products, Safari reigns almost exclusively on macOS and iOS devices. Despite everything, many Internet users do not join Apple's project, preferring its lifelong rival, Google Chrome.
Ergonomics, functionalities, integration with macOS/iOS systems, security, confidentiality, performance, and resource use are all criteria we have screened to help you choose the browser that will suit your habits and requirements. So, which of Chrome or Safari can claim the title of the best web browser on Apple devices?
Although it is updated less frequently than Google Chrome, Safari remains a properly secure solution because it is developed and managed internally by a large company. However, we will try to examine both of these in this article.
Safari vs Google Chrome | The Philosophy
Deployed free of charge under a proprietary license in September 2008, Google Chrome quickly conquered the web. Almost fifteen years after its release, Google's browser holds around 65% market share worldwide, all platforms combined.
So much so that today, Chrome leads the dance. The competition is inspired by it; the W3C aligns itself, developers code primarily for it, and advertisers draw their windfall from it. Its integration with Android systems imposes it on 70% of smartphones and 49% of tablets.
It is part of a rich ecosystem, including various massively used services and applications like Gmail, Drive, YouTube, and Google Search. A concentration of tools confirms the almost monopolistic position of Google on the Internet and of Chrome as a universal portal (Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS) for accessing the web.
Safari | The Succinct History and Beyond
Safari was born in almost the same conditions as Chrome. In the early 2000s, Microsoft gradually abandoned support for IE on OS X. Repeated accelerations and unpatched vulnerabilities deteriorated the user experience and threatened Apple equipment.
Today, Safari is the second most used browser with a 19% market share, which more or less corresponds to the share of macOS (6.2%) and iOS (17.6%) devices active worldwide. A coherent distribution given the integration of the browser only with Apple systems (end of Safari support for Windows in 2012 with version 5.1.7 of the browser).
Safari vs Google Chrome | The Main Features
We find, in Safari, as in Chrome, a classic structure composed of a navigation interface, a tab bar and a query field merging the search engine and the URL bar. However, while Chrome multiplies control buttons, menus and other toolbars, Safari opts for a more refined display, but not necessarily more modern, deploying an environment conducive to concentration.
The possibilities for customizing the interface are also more numerous in Chrome which, in addition to the configuration options integrated into the browser, benefits from a store of extensions much richer but less secure than Safaris.
Nevertheless, the default settings of the Apple browser allow Internet users to benefit from a practical and functional interface from the first use without manually modifying the software settings. We think of the home page and Safari search bar, which automatically aggregate bookmarks, frequently visited pages, shared content, reading list and open tabs on other devices connected to the same iCloud account.
Often presented as an equivalent of the Google account, the iCloud account, on the contrary, allows you to synchronize your browsing data without creating a specific browser account. Even better, iCloud unifies the macOS/iOS environment and allows full integration of system apps and their content with Safari (links shared in Pinned Messages on the home page and in the search bar, for example).
- An advantage that quickly turned into a disadvantage, while Safari is only available on Apple systems: iCloud synchronization also makes the process easy to switch seamlessly from one Apple device to another, while you are instantly finding your open tabs, favourites, passwords, browsing history on a Mac, a secondary iPhone or iPad.
On the other hand, the multi-platform and cross-platform architecture of Chrome allows Internet users to access their Google account and, therefore, their web synchronization from any desktop or mobile operating system. It is specified that connecting to your Google account on equipment belonging to a third party is also possible. At the same time, it is impossible to find your Safari configuration on a device connected to an iCloud account other than your own.
Chrome and Safari differ in a few features that differ in surface terms. In the specific context of online browsing, the “Handoff” option deployed by Apple is reminiscent of the “Send to your devices” function developed by Google.
Tab management is facilitated by the creation of groups and support for Previews (hover over the tab with the mouse to reveal the content in thumbnail) on both browsers, as well as by a global display in the form of thumbnails on Apple's (four-square icon at the top right of the navigation interface). Chrome stands out, meanwhile, with the recent deployment of a side panel referring to the search results associated with the page viewed.
Beyond this brief comparison of the exclusive features common to both browsers, we insist that Safari will always be more respectful of Apple environments than Chrome. Among the irritating details that could divert macOS users from Google's browser is the requirement to hold the cmd+Q shortcut for a long time to close Chrome when a short press is enough to quit all other applications installed on the system.
It's the same observation of annoyance when Chrome opens the Preferences in a not-very-visual tab. At the same time, any other app bends to display them in a readable, fast and easily configured configuration window.
Safari vs Google Chrome | Performance
The following benchmarks were performed on a Mac (MacBook Pro, Apple M1 Pro, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB Flash memory, macOS 12.6). Measurements were taken three times and then averaged for each test platform.
The performance difference is subtle and undetectable, but Safari does slightly better than Chrome, according to Basemark and JetStream. Of course, we expected no less from a browser specially developed for macOS / iOS devices. Still, the more numerous and regular updates of Chrome could have been the reason for the better results of Safari.
Not surprisingly, Chrome is more power-hungry than Safari on macOS systems, both in terms of CPU and RAM usage. For equivalent use (here, four tabs, including an information site, two video streaming platforms and an audio streaming service), it also opens up more processes, which can, in the event of a multiplication of tabs and windows, make browsing cumbersome and considerably deteriorate the user experience as a whole.
To sum up, it is better to favour the Apple browser to preserve your Mac's resources and enjoy optimal performance.
Safari vs Google Chrome | Security
A browser positioning itself as an intermediary between the Internet user and the web, it necessarily accesses certain personal information such as keyboard entries (URL, content of requests, forms), browsing history (sites visited, links clicked, time spent on a specific page), purchases made, passwords saved, etc. Given this observation and repressing the monopolies exercised by Google and Apple in the Tech sector, does choosing between Chrome and Safari matter to choosing between the plague and cholera?
As we know, Google derives most of its revenue from advertising. In 2021, the company accumulated a turnover of 257.63 billion dollars, of which 209.49 billion (more than 81%) came directly from its Ads and AdSense networks. There is no doubt that Chrome, coupled with other Google services (Gmail, Drive, Google Search, YouTube), is a wonderful tool for collecting, processing and selling personal data.
To tackle the issue, Apple, making $365.82 billion in turnover in 2021, derives the vast majority of the revenue from selling hardware products—Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
Figured at 4 billion dollars over the same year, advertising represents only 1% of the company's total turnover (house management Apple Search Ads). An economic model that allows Safari to communicate on better privacy protection and to integrate anti-tracking modules (Intelligent Tracking Prevention, anti-fingerprinting option). However, this information should be taken with a grain of salt, as Apple is making no secret of its efforts to improve its presence in the online advertising market.
Although the point of privacy goes to Safari, Chrome wins, more or less, that of security. Present on nearly 75% of desktop and mobile devices in the world—Chrome + Chromium-based browsers—Google is scrutinized and has no room for error. To prevent critical vulnerabilities, keep technology development secure, and ensure browser stability, Chromium and Chrome are routinely updated every four weeks. The company has also set up a rewards program encouraging contributors to track down vulnerabilities that would pass under the radar of Google teams, and punctual updates are deployed quickly in the event of proven security vulnerabilities.
Overall, Safari does benefit through security and feature updates, but with less frequency and regularity. One could imagine better general security of the browser, making it possible without monthly patches; however, recent news is a rather less effective support for security issues on Safari.
Despite the strengths of Google Chrome (multi-platform and cross-platform coverage, fast update cycles, integration with the widely used Google ecosystem around the world, and numerous possibilities for customization), Safari remains, in our opinion, the solution for preferred navigation on macOS and iOS systems.
Of the two web browsers compared above, Safari is the best choice—the Apple state of mind and the usage mechanisms that Internet users logically expect to experience, so the UX and UI are great. Moreover, Its perfect integration into macOS/iOS environments coupled with iCloud synchronization allows it to interact with the content of other applications installed on the system and manage the switch as smoothly as possible between two Apple devices.
Despite everything, we insist on the limits of iCloud synchronization, which requires you to be connected to the same account on all the devices used to take advantage of your Safari configuration on another Mac, iPhone or iPad. If you have experience in this field, share it with us.
People also read:
- Best VPN Extensions For Chrome
- Brave vs. Chrome
- Comparison of Chrome and Safari on iPhone
- How to clear Google search history in all browsers?
Do you value your privacy online?
Use VPN Surf and surf safely and securely in the open waters of the internet.