I moved my default browser from Chrome to Safari. Here’s why?

My first stint with Google Chrome started in early 2009 while I was still in 10th grade, finishing high school. It was a huge upgrade from Internet Explorer in many ways. It was cleaner, faster and simply beautiful.

In 2013, I took the huge leap and turned into a Mac person however I stayed as loyal as an old dog to my lovely Google Chrome irrespective of the fact that most of my friends used Safari.

However, now that Google Chrome’s performance started depreciating ever further so after an year long love and hate affair with Google Chrome I have finally chosen to transition to Safari for good. Here’s why -

  1. Google Chrome is really heavy and eats up RAM like no other browser. On a fresh reinstall of Mac OS, I was simply surprised at how lightweight Safari is. Based on the numbers from Little Snitch Network Monitor and Activity Monitor, Safari was a plausible choice.
  2. Google Chrome Playstore being an open source playfield for developers doesn’t have stringent standards for its extensions. Any developer can create Google Chrome extensions and upload them which means that while it gives us huge choices and tons of features but a lot of these extensions are simply too heavy. They increase the load time and RAM consumption on Chrome exponentially. While in contrast, Safari has very limited extensions that one can count on their fingers but they work like magic and load right away.
  3. Having more options only makes you less productive. I am a huge fan and experimenter for productivity hacks. Safari comes with a great feature called Sidebar which contains 3 things : Bookmarks, Reading List and Feed all in one place. It also has an inbuilt reader feature. For people who loved the Evernote Clearly but hated the fact that they never really used it because they couldn’t see other tabs at the same time, Safari has a reader option that works quite like Clearly but within the same tab without taking you away anywhere else.
  4. Safari promotes switching off computer more than does Google Chrome and in turn better performance. As a google chrome user, I often struggled with switching off my computer because I had these great 10 tabs open on my screen that I would have loved to review the next time I was online. But quitting google chrome meant it was gone unless you restored the 10 tabs from history and then you would barely be able to accomplish anything that day. In Safari, I save all my tabs on reading list and switch off. Every Saturday I classify the material on my reading list as —
  • Pending Read. I simply finish the read every Saturday.
  • Finished Read and must save for future. This usually contains articles like 1o Things I wished I Knew About Life Before 25, 10 People Who Became Genuises Despite Adversity — you get the hint (Entrepreneur Magazine/ MIT Tech Review/ Huffington Post/ Quartz kind articles). This is the material for any book projects that I might commit myself to sometime down the lane. So it goes to Pocket and I can create tags there whenever free. Check Robert Greene’s Notecard method, this is just the digital version for that.
  • Finished Read but must save to stay updated regularly (for eg. a good blog) This includes blogs by Chris Bailey — A Life of Productivity, Andrew Chen’s essays, Hacker News (Y Combinator), Twitter Feed of people I prefer to be notified about, Tech Crunch, Open AI blog, Wait But Why by Tim Urban etc. This goes to feeds.
  • Finished Read and must be on top of my reference material I see daily irrespective of I might/might not use it daily. This is the material I like to be on top of my head whenever I am bored and need an activity to engage in. So instead of watching T.V. or going to Facebook my impulsive reaction is to click on one of these. This goes to Bookmarks. I have 9 folders on my bookmarks here including Daily Read (essays by Andrew Chen, Paul Graham, Neil Patel Notes, KD Nuggets, Creative Live Chase Jarvis, Ryan Holiday Best Articles), A.I. Journals, Top Github Repositories, Coursera/Udacity Courses, Writing Advice etc. with various links.

What did I lose out on?

  1. Safari does not have an alternative to Hola. I prefer to use some websites on private VPN (for eg. BBC iPlayer) and Chrome’s Hola extension was a blessing. While Safari has one VPN extension but it barely works. However, there are alternatives like switching your entire Network to a VPN from System Preferences but then I won’t want to switch my entire network to VPN. Usually these are entertainment websites like putlocker etc. so now not being able to access these means my time-wasting options have automatically limited themselves and I go back to bookmark readings instead of going through the trouble of finding a film link that works. If you like reading the global versions of magazines and newspapers instead of a local one, it might add one extra task of “Go To Global website”, an option usually placed on top left or footer though.
  2. Also, sometimes it is hard to find some information on Google Chrome and thus TOR browser has always been my go to friend. Looking for something, can’t find it on first 2 page results for Google? Go to TOR. I have not used TOR since switching to Safari but this is still an open alternative and I might still use TOR. May be not as extensively since it takes quite some time for Network Relay on TOR which I didn’t mind given my Chrome was anyways slow so in comparison it didn’t feel that bad. Now, TOR seems way too slow. But hey, never say never ;)

7 Safari shortcuts that I am simply in love with and you might too -

  1. Cmd + Shift + \ = See and switch among all open tabs on a single screen
  2. Cmd + 1–9 = For going to Tab no. 1 or 9 directly
  3. Cmd + Shift + D = Add the active page to reading list
  4. Cmd + Click = To open any link in a new tab. (Note : Command + Double Click = to open any link from bookmarks in a new tab)
  5. Cmd + Shift + T = Open that last tab you closed by mistake without having to go in history
  6. Cmd + Shift + R = Reader view
  7. Escape = Exit full screen

To conclude,