I wanted to give Safari a chance, I got pushed back to Chrome
I really tried…
Since I got a new laptop and I still on those beautiful early days when you want to keep it like new forever, smooth, clean and free of crap, I decided to take it to the extreme, becoming very intentional with the software I install.
I’ve had the laptop for about two weeks now and very few things have been installed, as you can see on the image bellow, a handful of apps that can be literally counted with one hand.
The rest of the apps are the ones that come by default from factory.
Moreover, based on all the above rationale, I decided to finally and properly give Safari and real opportunity, one that, ending with positive results might made me stay with it and not rely on Chrome so heavily as I’ve done in the past.
There are two reasons for this:
1. Safari itself
Every year Apple delights us with a bunch of new features added to Safari to make the experience better, our lives easier and our surfing safer. Additionally to this, there’s also the usual thing about the “Apple ecosystem”, a definitive benefit if you’re already invested on it and have at least a couple of devices from the company, everything syncs in harmony extremely well.
On this note, this year they presented a series of features that made me properly consider it from just a user’s point of view in the climate we currently live in. They made a significant emphasis and effort on trying to make the machine less traceable (don’t know yet if it’s actually as untraceable as stated, but at least a good starting point), something that I’ve been growing more and more keen on.
The overall privacy of people on the web have become a societal problem with questions about how much data is captured and the ethics behind those methods, this together with several stories of companies suffering data breaches, compromising personal information of millions of users.
Ultimately, Safari looks simple and smooth, it does not tend to be loaded with so many features and add-ons like Chrome, which also has always been resource hungry, only forgiven due to its speed.
2. Chrome: Resources and data
The second reason is Chrome itself, despite of feeling incredibly powerful and practical. The problem is, that at times feels loaded, and I don't, mean this from resources perspective, but an experiential one.
Finally, there’s again the privacy issue. Chrome is own by Google, and I love Google, but recently I have started to feel a bit concerned with all the scandals, not so transparent practices and at times, even lack of honesty.
Google covered up a data breach out of fear of more government regulation.
A glitch in the Google+ social network exposed the personal data of hundreds of thousands of users between March 2015…
Chrome is basically a default window into Google’s search engine and if you are part of their ecosystem, to the rest of it as well.
Why not sticking with Safari then?
Short answer. It doesn’t seem to work with everything on the web. Which is sad, dissapointing but overall, shocking.
So far, I’ve been slowly finding websites that doesn’t work with Apple’s browser, usually pointing you towards other alternatives in the market, Firefox, Opera, Explorer, and of course, Chrome.
What I’ve found even more interesting is encountering services that will support very small players like Amazon’s
Here’s a some sites and services I was unable to access through Safari:
1. Virgin Trains BEAM
BEAM is Virgin Train’s entertaiment system. It can be accessed from any browser to enjoy the variety of media offered to the passengers. To my surprise it does not support Apple’s Safari, but it does support Amazon’s Silk. Interesting, yet shocking…
Silk is the web browser included on Amazon’s tablets, one with a significantly small (less than 1%) market share.
2. Spotify online
Spotify has suffered the same fate as other apps and has not been installed yet on my new laptop, also, since July I’ve been not using it that often as I decided to give Amazon Music a try.
Because of all this, and the fact that I wanted to listen a song that was not Amazon, I went into Spotify’s Web Player, to find with surprise that it does not support Safari.
Amazon Music does though…
3. Google Docs’ Voice Typing feature
Google Docs’ Voice Typing feature, one that I’m used to on the iPhone but never had a chance to try on desktop, however, I found myself unable to access the feature.
After checking the settings and not finding a fix, I did the usual, googled it with the following query “voice typing on google docs on safari”.
Once again, not supported on Safari.
In summary, I really wanted to stick with Safari this time, but the modern world of the Internet is not allowing me to continue my quest.
In the past, I would try Safari, always getting back to Chrome within a week tops. However, this time I’ve not encountered that friction so far, and I like it.
Yes, the lesson so far is that I would have to count on Chrome for certain things and that’s ok, but for the first time in several years, I think Google’s powerful beast can seat on the bench and be awaken only when necessary, at least as long as the honeymoon continues…
Have you encountered similar challenges with browsers or any other tech? Let me know…