Replace Google Chrome by Safari in personal usage

Until recently, I thought that was impossible, but it turned out that it is – our main browser can be changed, although we have used it for years and in many respects were satisfied with it. I used to use Google Chrome for both personal and work, because it was a universal choice full of useful options and the ability to easily expand with applications and add-ons. Recently, I moved to Safari. Although the reasons were not incredibly revealing, but I decided to share what I like in this browser.

Speed, performance

The first and most important thing is speed. Do not get me wrong – Google Chrome is running fast and when it comes to the interface it is definitely better than eg Firefox, but what Safari does … it just faster, much faster. We open something, we scroll the page, we use very heavy pages, and it still works great. This browser is incredibly fast now, and soon (in September) will be a new version of macOS and iOS with Safari 11, which is even faster. Webistes are now full of JavaScript, and this browser is able to handle it very efficiently. It also reflects on battery life: it can work longer than Chrome. How much? Hard to say because I did not do thorough tests, and I rarely use notebook in mobile, but it is at least an hour longer.

Integration with the system

Another important thing is integration with the system. On iOS there is unfortunately no choice: we can install “another browser” such as Google Chrome or Firefox (although the real engine is the same as in Safari, this is a limitation imposed by Apple) but we can’t change default one, it’s always Safari. MacOS doesn’t have such issue, but here you can see the benefits of using this browser: it syncs bookmarks, history, and form data in iCloud between our devices – that’s the biggest plus because of the fact that on iOS Safari is the best option. Handoff is also included, which means instantaneous switch browsing between your computer, tablet and smartphone. It also has a handy little detail and allows  to send websites to the sharing center: save to notes, installed applications or connected social networks. I must also mention about support of great gestures on touchpad.

Safari can block autoplay

A huge plus for me is the ability to block automatic play of content placed on websites and also those in HTML5. Nowadays, it is a nightmare of the internet: we open the site and the movie starts without our permission. It breaks the focus, etc. Thank you, but I do not want this. The current Safari version of has hidden option to play HTML5 content on demand, but already in September we will find it as one of the settings in new version and it will be possible to configure it individually for each page. Other browsers do not currently have this, and we need use external extension to to the same thing – they can work, but not always will all websites.

The most important extensions support

There are also few great extensions for Safari. We do not find them as much for Google Chrome or Firefox, but still more than for Microsoft Edge – Safari’s extension database includes several ad blockers (such as Adguard, Ghostery), 1Password, LastPass, Evernote, OneNote, integration with Pocket service or Feedly. We can also apply our own styles on webistes using Stylish. Safari also supports external extensions, which are manually installed by the user. Among them there are, for example, very popular uBlock. Extensions databse is not small, support for the most popular services, but importantly, even the mobile version of Safari supports ad blockers and does it very well. On the phone or tablet this is even more important because of the battery life.

Read later list

Safari has a lot of built-in useful features. One of them is the ability to add pages to special reading list, to read articles later. This is a bit like a Pocket, or folders in Feedly, though not as extensive – it does not have tags, does not save all content, and resembles more bookmarks. On the other hand, it synchronizes, works very smoothly and for my is simply comfortable. I do not have time to read, I click the small bar in the address bar or the icon in the mobile Safari and I have a list. Later, you can catch up on the tablet, read and clear the list.

Reader mode

Another advantage is the ability to display pages in a special reader mode. This mode removes unnecessary webiste elements such ads, graphics or movies. It focuses on news, article content, text. It works very well, especially on heavily loaded pages with interesting content (yes, there are such connections). Reader mode allows us to change eg background color, font and text size. Reading in this special mode is very comfortable and similar to ebook reader – not the same because of screen technology, but similar.

Built-in simple RSS reader

Safari also has built-in RSS reader. This is a very simple reader, because there are no folders, search engine that can help us find new sources or filters, but also in this case I can say that it does what should. I do not really subscribe to any big site (level does not correspond to me), I focus on some personal and developer blogs that are not very often updated. In this situation, this built-in reader performs very well and integrates with the rest mentioned earlier.

Other advantages and conclusion

Safari also has some other advantages, such as integration with keychain (saving passwords, form data), and also has nice tools for web developers, although in this case a much better choice for me is still Google Chrome. There are also annoying things, but the speed and easy of use on several devices in my case turned out to be the most important factors – Safari is currently my main browser for everyday usage. I do not know if it will be forever, because browser is currently one of the most important application we use, and they develop very dynamically … However, I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to use Safari to give this browser a chance. Worth it.

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