Chrome VS Firefox VS Safari, which browser do you use? Which browser offers the best experience? I get asked all the time what browser I use and why. I also ask people all the time why they use certain browsers. It’s interesting to hear peoples opinions. My favourite browser is Chrome, I find it fast, reliable and it can handle anything I throw at it. I am always running multiple tabs, opening links in new tabs, loading multiple videos at once, etc. And Chrome takes it all in it’s stride. But other than that, I find it hard to explain why I prefer Chrome. It’s the little things that make a difference I find, so I decided to go into more details and think a little deeper about one of the most used and useful tools on a computer, the browser.

 

Modified from University of Wisconsin Archive Images with inspiration from www.businessinsider.com.

 

ADDRESS BAR

When Chrome was first released, I LOVED that I no longer needed a search bar and an address bar. Anything that you typed into the address bar that wasn’t a URL, Chrome does an instant Google search for you. It didn’t take Firefox long to catch onto this idea and integrate it into their browser a few releases later. It took Safari much longer, but Safari 6 now offers this as default in their browser. One thing to note is that not all ‘omnibars’ are created equal. While Chrome and Safari can search anything in the address bar, Firefox has some troubles sometime when using special characters as the first character of a search. For example, if you wanted to search a hashtag in Firefox, it would return the result as an error. To circumvent this, you have to go Googles homepage first, then do the search from within the browser.

 

TABS

As I mentioned above, I use a LOT of tabs in my browser. I think Chrome handles tabs the best out of any other browser for a few reasons. One reason is that it can simply fit in more tabs than any other browser. It consenses the tab and makes them really small which is a great feature. Firefox and Safari’s tabs will not shrink past a certain size, which means you have to scroll through your tabs from a button on the right of the screen. Less than ideal.

Another great feature of Chromes tabs is that when you are closing them, they don’t change size until you move your cursor. This makes it really easy to close multiple tabs fast. Just hover over the close button and keep clicking. You do not have to move your cursor around finding the correct close button on each tab. On Firefox and Safari when you close a tab, the other tabs resize immediately, making it inconvenient to close multiple tabs in a row.

The final thing that I like about the tabs in Chrome is the ability to pin them as app tabs. If you right click a tab and pin it, it will then shrink and stick to the start of your row of apps. I use app tabs for sites that I visit regularly like email. This feature is also available in Firefox, but not Safari and is one of the main reasons I don’t use the new Safari more often.

 

PDF

It’s important to have your PDF’s open natively in a browser window. It’s a hassles to have to download them and then open them in a viewer. I think Safari was the first browser to support this, but Chrome also now has this feature integrated. Unfortunately Firefox has still not caught up. It’s possible in Firefox but you have to modify the original software with an add on to allow this function.

 

SYNC

When I first started using Firefox’s sync feature, I could stop lugging a computer between work and home and work totally from the cloud. This sync feature is great as it allows you to save all of you passwords, history, cookies, bookmarks, etc. in the cloud and sync it with any computer you use. So when you have your browser synced, the saved passwords that you used at work, are now also saved at home on your browsers. Firefox offers this, but the inital sync up is hard as you have to enter serial numbers that seem to expire, so you really need both computers at the same place, at the same time to initially make this happen. Chrome uses your Google account to sync your information, making it really easy to use. Safari offers a syncing feature through iCloud, however it only syncs opened tabs, no other information.

 

APP STORE

Once again, Chrome shows how advanced it is by creating an app store. You can download a range of different apps into your browser. My favorite is offline mail, incase your away in a distant land without internet connection, you can still view, read, compose, send and reply to mail (obviously the mail you send to will not be sent until you reestablish an internet connection).

 

REMOTE DESKTOP

The final nail in the coffin is Chrome’s remote desktop feature. If you wish to, you can use Chrome to control a remote computer, anywhere in the world, as long as you and the computer you want to access has Chrome, an internet connection and someone at the other end allowing the connection to happen. Just download the app and it walks you through the whole process. This is a super powerful tool that usually costs a considerable amount of cash. However, Chrome allows the download of this app for free!

 

SUMMARY

In summary, as you can see from the table below, Chrome comes out a clear winner in usability and innovation. I highly recommend using it on any computer you have. Firefox comes along close behind, in second. Unfortunately, in my opinion, even with the recent advancements, Safari 6 has a long way to go if it wants to be competitive.

Chrome and Firefox can be download for free from their respective website:

Download Chrome here

Download Firefox here

Safari comes preinstalled on all Mac computer. Safari 6 comes free with OSX Mountain Lion, is available in OSX Lion, but is not available on any other version of OSX .

FEATURE

CHROME FIREFOX

SAFARI

Address bar search

✓ (only with Safari 6)

Fully function address bar

Narrow tabs

Tabs don’t move when closing

Pinable app tabs

PDF viewer

with add on

Sync

only tabs

App store

Remote desktop