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I ditched Chrome for Safari and you can too



Photo: Victor Jeffries III (Gizmodo)

Based on my best estimates, I started using Google Chrome at the end of 2009, not long after the beta version for OS X came out. It was amazing, fast as hell, and full of neat little tricks that felt new at the time. (Remember when searching from the address bar was a revelation?) I loved Chrome so much, I wrote a love letter to it last summer. So, a few months later, I switched back to Safari. You should try it.

The launch of macOS Mojave won much enthusiasm for finally introducing a dark mode, but I have since realized that the new Safari was a sleeping giant. On the stage of the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), where the new Safari was announced in June last year, Apple executives were quick to point out all the new privacy features that would come to the default browser for Mac and IOS devices. It is a new version of Intelligent Tracking Protection that keeps third parties from following you around the web. This is effective enough for some digital advertising experts to believe that businesses like Facebook and Google are getting weaker. On a daily basis, I like less tracking because the ad for the shoes I bought last fall does not follow me to every website on the internet.

The new Safari is also full of small tweaks that make the whole experience better. It's fast, so none of the competition feels noticeably faster. It's more stable, which means I don't always live in fear of a crash like I did with Chrome. It has favicons on the tabs, which is not a new feature for browsers, but was some Safari missed for a long time. I especially love how I can link tabs that I use frequently, and Safari will keep the pinned tabs open in all my browser windows. Safari also keeps track of the tabs on multiple devices, so if I had a website open on my computer and wanted to pull it up on my phone, I can do it with around three cranes. And the boy, the dark mode looks good.

Of all the great new features is a lifetime change: AutoFill Passwords. This password manager is a feature for both iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, and it makes my life online infinitely easier. On my phone, if I navigate to a login page where I've previously entered my credentials, Face ID scans my crown and I'm in. No more remember passwords and certainly no more of the auto-filled confusion that bothered me on Chrome. You know, the error where Chrome fills out the errors in forms or suggests the wrong password? Safari only works.

The auto-fill feature also covers the security codes for two-factor authentication, those that some companies send you in a text message. Thanks to continuity, the Mac is connected to my iPhone, so when I get these text messages, Safari knows it and will auto-populate the security code on which website I'm trying to sign in. It sounds like a little thing, but when you have to do this several times a day, it feels completely liberating, not having to search for my phone and hammer out six digits.

These are just some of the things I & # 39; Have you noticed in the months since you turn back to Safari after a decade of Chrome. And the thing is, I feel I don't even take full advantage of the browser. For example, the new Safari automatically generates super secure passwords for you and stores them in your keychain (Chrome has a similar feature). I haven't tried it yet, but I should. Safari will also make a revision to the passwords you have stored in the keychain and shame on duplicates. I should also do that.

One thing I shouldn't do is switch back to Chrome. As Apple's high trumpeter's commitment to privacy, it still seems beautiful that I let Google, the world's largest advertising powerhouse, track some of my online activity for many years. Meanwhile, Facebook continues to pay tribute to data secretly, even though it is facing potential fines from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that can soar into billions of dollars. I'm also not crazy about the fact that Amazon just bought the company that makes one of my favorite Wi-Fi routers, because who knows how it will end. If there has been a time to double down on protecting my data, it is now. So yes, I will continue to use the browser with many good built-in privacy features: Safari.

You can consider the switch because the new Safari is just a pleasure to use. Unless you are a PC user, you may want to consider trying the new Firefox. Whatever you do, don't just continue to use Chrome because that's what you've done since 2011. There is reason to believe that Chrome is not the safest browser, especially after a report this week that 85 percent of Chrome apps and add-ons missing a privacy policy. So I stick to Safari for the foreseeable future. Heck, maybe in four years, when the browser has its 20th birthday, I also write a love letter for Safari.


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