Google Chrome is the most used browser on the internet. This browser became known at its launch as a choice alternative to existing browsers and their slowness: Internet Explorer and Safari. But it has become the new leader in the sector, and as such, the champion to beat. It has become what we hate. We’ve created a monster, and maybe it’s time to think about turning things around.
After testing browsers, looking at performance, memory usage, battery usage and the overall feel of using the browser, I now know that the notion of “best” browser is very subjective and controversial. The answers are personal. They are specific to the individual use case. That said, I can still find a number of good reasons to get rid of Chrome.
First, regarding the browser’s power consumption. If your device is powered by a battery, it is better to use the stock browser. On Windows, it’s Edge, and on Mac and iOS, it’s Safari. Both are perfectly adapted to the platform they run on and offer the best possible battery life and thermal performance. You can of course modify and tweak Chrome to make things better, but it won’t make things totally better.
When I switched from Chrome to Safari on my MacBook Pro, my daily driver, I got more than an extra hour of autonomy, which is a very important gain. Switching to Safari on the iPhone also allowed me to considerably improve the battery life, even if it’s harder to measure because the navigator is not the main object of my day on this platform. To get the best possible battery and power performance, use your computer’s pre-installed browser.
Chrome defects are also sensitive in terms of operating system optimization. One of the great benefits of Google Chrome is that you get a streamlined and consistent experience across all the platforms you use. After using Edge and Safari on their respective platforms for a few weeks, I was surprised to see how clumsy this experience actually is, compared to the browser pre-installed on your computer.
It’s hard to put it into words, but Safari on the Mac or Edge on Windows looks like an extension of the operating system. The transition between the operating system and the browser is easier. Coming back to Chrome suddenly seemed awkward (and that’s where I noticed the slow performance the most).
The Android champion
Google Chrome is an excellent tool that allows Google to extract a lot of data, both to know how people use the internet and to find information like passwords and payment details to keep us locked in its ecosystem.
Although I’m not paranoid about my data, I prefer to be able to choose where my data is stored and how it’s used, and which companies I choose to work with, and to be able to choose what’s best for me, not what’s convenient.
In fact, it’s on Android that Google Chrome is a winner. I’ve tested other browsers on this platform, but Chrome is the one that works best. It is, after all, the standard browser for Google’s mobile OS, and as such, it has been modified to give the best performance.