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Why I can’t switch from Chrome to Safari, and why that's so frustrating

5 min read
  • Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge are dominant in the browser market, but is Safari really such a bad browser?

I’ve used Google Chrome as my preferred browser on both Windows and Mac for years, and it’s been the browser that ‘just works’, with very few hassles or broken features. I haven’t just stuck with Chrome, though, and I moved to Microsoft Edge when it was relaunched with Chromium in January 2020.

Edge worked well, and I found very minor differences between the two browsers. But I found Microsoft adding more and more features that cluttered Edge, and many of them I never used and I probably wouldn’t if I were still a full-time user. I liked both Chrome and Edge because of their cross-platform and syncing capabilities, and it made working between Windows and Mac really simple. I’d simply have to sign in with my Google or Microsoft account, and my data would be available wherever I am.

I now have less need for Chrome as my browser, as my two primary devices are my 27-inch iMac and M1 MacBook Air, and I only occasionally work from a Windows PC. I’ll try and work from my personal devices wherever possible, as not only do I prefer macOS, but it’s easier to start something and finish it later. But it’s not so easy to switch to Safari on Mac, and I’ve tried, and will keep trying. While my history and bookmarks sync, and Safari supports Bitwarden (my password manager), I can’t move away from the reliance of the solid extensions available in the Chrome Store. Adblock Plus, Image Downloader and TubeBuddy have features that I rely on every day, and I can’t replicate that experience in Safari.

I’d much prefer to use the native features of Safari, and benefit from the syncing capabilities of iCloud and continuity, the privacy functions and the cleaner interface. Safari is improving year-on-year, and Google is failing to innovate with Chrome, leading to a boring and static experience when browsing.

Hopefully in the next year, the number of extensions for Apple’s browser will improve, as the company just added support for extensions to Safari for iOS and iPadOS, so developers can reach a much larger market.

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