Using an internet browser has become an essential part of our daily routine, whether it’s to shop online, stream videos, or read this blog post. But when it comes to choosing a browser for your iPhone or Mac, the decision can be confusing. Should you go with Chrome, the world’s most popular browser known for its versatility, or stick with Apple’s native browser, Safari, for a more seamless Apple experience? We compare two titans of the browser world so you don’t have to.
Google Chrome vs. Safari: A quick comparison
Google Chrome vs. Safari performance: The pros and cons
Google Chrome vs. Safari features: The pros and cons
Google Chrome vs. Safari privacy: The pros and cons
Google Chrome vs. Safari performance: Which is better?
Bonus! Chrome vs. Safari performance: 5 Random facts
Google Chrome vs. Safari: A quick comparison
Google Chrome was developed by Google and released in 2008, quickly becoming the most popular web browser in the world with a current market share of 65%. Safari was developed by Apple and first released in 2003. The latest version of the browser is exclusive to Apple devices.
|Engines||Blink, WebKit||WebKit, Nitro|
|License||Proprietary, but based on open-source components (Chromium)||Freeware (pre-installed on Apple devices); some components (especially engine) GNU LGPL|
|Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and Chrome OS||macOS, iOS, and iPadOS|
|Ad blocker||Not by default||Not by default|
|Private browsing||Incognito Mode||Private Browsing|
|Extensions||Yes—190,000+ extensions available on the Chrome Web Store||Yes—Safari allows users to install extensions to customize the way their browser works. They are available under “Safari Extensions”.|
Read more: Google Chrome vs. Firefox
Chrome vs. Safari performance: The pros and cons
Safari uses less RAM than Chrome
While both browsers offer similar features and functionalities, one noticeable difference is the amount of memory they consume. Although Chrome works relatively quickly, it struggles when users have too many tabs open or are running graphic-intensive webpages, leading to drained RAM and slow systems.
Tab isolation: Chrome uses a process isolation model, which means that each tab runs as a separate process. This can help prevent a single tab from using up too much memory and crashing the entire browser.
Reduced memory leaks: Chrome’s use of a “garbage collector” helps to prevent memory leaks and ensure that unused memory is released back to the system, improving the overall stability and performance of the browser.
Tab discarding feature: This feature automatically discards inactive tabs that are not being used, freeing up RAM and reducing the strain on a device’s resources.
More likely to crash: If Chrome uses too much RAM, it can cause the browser to crash, which can be hugely frustrating for users.
Drain battery life: If you’re using Chrome on a MacBook or iPhone, the higher RAM usage can quickly drain your battery life.
Applications could slow down: If Chrome is using too much RAM, it can slow down other applications you have open, making it difficult to work efficiently.
More frequent updates: Chrome’s relatively higher RAM usage means that it may require more frequent updates to fix bugs and improve performance.
Faster performance: With more RAM to spare, Safari can store more data in memory, making it faster to access and load websites and web applications.
Better multitasking: By using less RAM, Safari can handle more open tabs and processes at the same time without slowing down.
Improved stability: Safari is less likely to crash or freeze when running memory-intensive applications or websites.
Enhanced gaming experience: Safari is better-able to support high-resolution gaming and provide smoother gameplay.
Limited extension support: Safari limits the amount of memory that can be used by browser extensions, which can cause some extensions to function poorly or not work at all.
Limited customization: Safari’s RAM management has limited options to adjust memory usage or control how tabs and processes are managed, which means they can’t really be catered to the user.
Fewer development tools: Safari’s RAM management also doesn’t offer as many development tools or plugins as other browsers, which can make it less useful for web developers and designers.
Verdict: Safari generally requires less RAM than Chrome and is the better option for Mac users who value battery life, as it is designed to be energy-efficient and uses hardware acceleration to minimize power consumption. However, if you rely heavily on extensions that can quickly consume a significant amount of RAM, Chrome’s tab discarding feature can help improve the overall performance and stability of your devices.
Chrome is slightly faster than Safari
As it’s built by Apple itself, Safari is optimized to work best across iOS and Mac so that it achieves optimal hardware-software integration—it’s also great for conserving battery life on your devices. However, when it comes to speed, how does Chrome stack up?
Google recently made updates to the Chrome browser that have significantly improved its performance on Apple’s devices. And, after running several speed tests on WebSPRT 4, our results echo that Chrome is slightly faster than Safari on both Mac and iPhone.
But that’s not to say both Chrome and Safari don’t have their highs and lows when it comes to speed.
It’s touted as being fast: Chrome is known for its fast page loading times and overall swift performance.
It’s up-to-date with the latest technology: Chrome is designed to take advantage of modern hardware and software, which allows it to run smoothly on a wide range of devices and operating systems.
It has prerendering: Chrome has a feature called “prerendering” that allows it to anticipate the user’s next click and start loading the page in advance, which can significantly speed up browsing.
RAM issues can affect its speed: Chrome is known to be a memory hog, which can slow down performance on devices with limited resources.
Regular updates: Chrome’s frequent updates and new features can sometimes lead to bugs and other issues that impact performance.
Third-party extensions: Chrome’s privacy features, such as ad-blocking and tracking prevention, can sometimes slow down website loading times, especially for sites with a lot of ads and trackers.
It’s got a good reputation: Safari is generally considered to be one of the fastest web browsers available for macOS and iOS devices.
It’s made for Apple devices: Safari is optimized for Apple’s hardware and software, which allows it to run smoothly on these devices.
Its ITP feature makes it faster: Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) feature can speed up website loading times by blocking unnecessary tracking scripts and cookies.
It’s not optimized for other devices: Safari may not perform as well on non-Apple devices and operating systems, because they can only use earlier versions of the browser that aren’t up-to-date.
Potential cache issues: Safari’s performance can be affected by the amount of cache and browsing data stored on the device, which can slow down the browser over time.
Web technology support: Safari may not always support the latest web technologies as quickly as other browsers, which could impact the performance of certain websites and web applications.
Verdict: While Safari is known for its optimized performance on Apple devices, Chrome is considered slightly faster. However, the difference in speed is minimal and may not be noticeable to most users.
Chrome vs. Safari features: The pros and cons
Chrome has a clean user interface, but Safari’s is more customizable
A user interface can make or break one’s experience of a browser. While Chrome and Safari have similar functions, they have distinct differences in their designs. Chrome has a more minimalist, modern design while Safari’s is more classic.
Verdict: While Chrome’s clean and minimalist interface is very appealing, Safari offers customizable and flexible features on iPhone, iPad, and Mac that put it ahead of Chrome. Safari’s new tab management features like the webpage hover preview are also a definite win.
Safari supports mobile extensions, while Chrome does not
Extensions can significantly enhance the functionality and customization options of a browser. Chrome has a vast library of extensions, and new ones are added regularly. Safari, on the other hand, has a more curated selection of extensions, but they are generally high-quality and well-maintained. And, while both browsers allow users to install extensions on their desktop or laptop devices, there is a vast difference between the two when it comes to mobile devices.
Large variety available: Google Chrome has an extensive library of extensions available for desktop devices. These extensions can streamline your browsing experience, making it more efficient and personalized.
Limited to desktop: Most extensions aren’t available on mobile devices, which is a significant disadvantage for Chrome users who also browse the web on their smartphones or tablets.
Support for web extensions on your mobile devices: The recent support offered on iOS devices and later means that users can now customize their browsing experience to their iPhones and iPads in the same way as on their Macs.
Experience isn’t very customizable: Safari has a limited extension library compared with Chrome.
Verdict: Both Safari and Chrome support extensions on Mac devices. While Chrome has a wider range of extensions available for desktop devices, Safari has a clear advantage when it comes to mobile browsing because of the recent support for web extensions on iOS.
Chrome has more synchronization benefits
Both Safari and Chrome offer syncing features that allow you to synchronize your bookmarks, history, and passwords, and keep your data and settings up-to-date across multiple devices. However, one has slightly better benefits than the other.
Fast synchronization: Chrome tends to synchronize data faster than Safari, particularly large amounts of data, such as bookmarks and browsing history.
More options: Chrome offers more options for syncing, including syncing extensions, open tabs, history, settings, and autofill content. It also automatically syncs with your Google profile when you log into a new device.
Cross-device sync: Chrome allows you to sync open tabs across devices, so you can pick up where you left off on a different device.
App integration: Google Chrome doesn’t integrate as closely with other Apple apps and services, such as iCloud Keychain and the Apple ecosystem.
Password manager: Safari’s iCloud Keychain is more tightly integrated with the Apple ecosystem, making it easier to sync passwords across multiple devices.
Customizable Start screen: Safari syncs its customizable Start screen across devices, as well as passwords, bookmarks, history, and tabs.
Safari is primarily limited to macOS, iOS, and iPadOS, meaning information can only be synced across these devices.
Verdict: Google Chrome offers more flexibility when it comes to syncing information across devices.
Chrome vs. Safari privacy: The pros and cons
Is Safari more secure than Chrome?
From phishing attacks and malware to viruses and hacks—the world of online browsing is filled with online threats. That’s why it’s essential that the browser you use has robust security measures in place to keep your sensitive information safe.
Verdict: Chrome has an edge in terms of customizable security extensions, while Safari has a superior password management system. Apple device users may prefer Safari, however, for its seamless integration with iCloud keychain, while Chrome may be a better choice for those who want more control over their security settings.
Google’s reliance on ads may compromise user privacy
When it comes to keeping your personal data private, is it Chrome or Safari that reigns supreme? While Chrome has a slight edge when it comes to keeping abreast of security threats, Safari has a much better track record of being more transparent than Google when it comes to a private browsing experience.
Verdict: When it comes to user privacy, Safari wins hands-down. Apple is known for prioritizing user privacy and collecting data in a more ethical way than other tech giants.
Chrome vs. Safari: Which is better for iPhone and Mac?
Both Safari and Chrome offer excellent features, and both come with their own set of pros and cons—so, the decision ultimately comes down to what you value most. If you prioritize speed and customization through extensions, Chrome may be the better choice. If you care more about stability and privacy, and you use Apple devices exclusively, then Safari is the way to go.
Read more: Google Chrome vs. Microsoft Edge
Bonus! Chrome vs. Safari: 5 random facts
- Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt was against the idea of developing an independent browser for many years. Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page eventually built a demo version which forced Schmidt to change his mind.
- The T-rex in Chrome’s offline Dinosaur Game is named Steve.
- If you open more than 100 tabs on Google Chrome, the tab count on the upper right becomes an old-school smiley “:)” on iOS and “:D” on Android.
- “Facebook” is the most searched word on Chrome, followed by “YouTube”, “Amazon”, “weather”, and “Walmart”.
- The question that Chrome users ask the most is “What is my IP address?”
- When choosing a name for its browser, Apple said it wanted it to be a verb. The name “Safari” was chosen because it reflects the browser’s journey through the internet. “Safari” is the Swahili word for “trip.”
- In 2022, Safari became the second browser in the world to have over a billion users. Chrome was the first.
- You have Safari to thank for the many uses of private browsing mode. Three years before Google popularized its Incognito Mode, Safari already had a feature for the temporary suspension of cookies and cache.
- Apple hides “Easter eggs” in its icons all the time. The iOS Maps icon shows the location of Apple in Cupertino, California. Its Calendar icon’s default date is when the app was introduced, and the iOS clock icon shows the approximate time iPhone was announced. However, there is no known symbolism as to why the Safari compass points North East other than it looks aesthetically pleasing.
- The first version of Safari for Windows was released in 2007, but it was later discontinued in 2012 due to low usage.
Do you prefer using Safari or Chrome as your preferred browser? Let us know in the comments below!
FAQ: Chrome vs. Safari
What’s the difference between Chrome and Safari?
Chrome and Safari are the two most popular web browsers in the world, with some notable differences. Chrome, developed by Google, is available on multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, Linux, Android. In terms of performance, it is generally considered faster than Safari. Chrome also boasts a larger library of extensions and add-ons compared to Safari, allowing for a more customizable browsing experience.
Safari is developed by Apple and is primarily available on Apple’s devices, including Mac, iPhone, and iPad. It is considered more privacy-focused than Chrome, with features like Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP), which blocks cookies from third-party trackers. Safari also integrates with Apple’s services, such as iCloud and Apple Pay.
Overall, while Chrome and Safari offer similar features, they also have unique differences that may make one more suitable for certain users. You can read more about these in the article above.
Is Safari safer than Google Chrome?
Both Safari and Google Chrome are generally considered to be safe web browsers. However, there are some differences in how they approach security.
Safari is known for its strong privacy features and security measures, such as its Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP) technology, which blocks cookies from third-party trackers, and its built-in pop-up blocker. Safari also uses sandboxing technology to isolate web content, preventing malicious code from affecting a network.
Chrome has its own set of security features, including built-in malware and phishing protection, as well as sandboxing technology to prevent malicious code from infecting the system. Chrome also provides frequent security updates and patches to address vulnerabilities and threats.
Ultimately, the level of safety you experience on either browser may depend on a variety of factors, including your browsing habits, the websites you visit, and the plugins or extensions you use. Both browsers have their strengths and weaknesses in terms of security. You can read more about these in the article above.
Is it better to use Chrome or Safari on Mac?
Choosing between Chrome and Safari on a Mac depends on your personal preferences and needs.
Safari is the default web browser on Mac and is optimized for Apple’s ecosystem. It integrates seamlessly with other Apple services such as iCloud and Apple Pay, and has strong privacy features such as Intelligent Tracking Prevention (ITP)—which blocks cookies from third-party trackers. Safari is also known for its energy efficiency, which can help improve battery life on Mac laptops, iPhones, and iPads.
Google Chrome, on the other hand, is a cross-platform browser that has a large selection of extensions and add-ons, making it a more customizable option. It also has advanced developer tools, making it a preferred choice for web developers. Chrome is also known for its fast performance and frequent updates.
If you are heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem and prioritize privacy, Safari might be a better option for you. However, if you use multiple devices across different platforms and value customization, Chrome might be the better choice.
Should I switch from Chrome to Safari?
Whether or not you should switch from Chrome to Safari depends on your personal preferences. You can weigh up the pros and cons in the article above to consider if Safari will better meet your needs. It might also be helpful to try using Safari for a period of time and see if you prefer it as a browser to Chrome.
Does Safari have a VPN?
No, Safari does not have a VPN. If you want to increase your online privacy, consider downloading a fast VPN from ExpressVPN that will encrypt all of your internet traffic so your internet service provider and other snoops can’t see what you’re doing online.
Protect your online privacy and security
30-day money-back guarantee
I use Safari, Brave, and DDG. I try to never use Google products due to security.