Chrome vs. Safari

Old Blog Import

It wasn’t too long ago that I was writing posts comparing Firefox vs. Safari. When Chrome came along I thought it would solve the problem, combining the best of both worlds and adding some nice new features as well. However, since Safari 5 came out I’ve noticed that my iMac functions much faster. This is strange, because I run apps to measure memory and CPU usage and Chrome was very good on both counts. It is true that memory usage is slightly better in Safari, but Chrome wasn’t so much of a memory hog that this can explain the difference. And Chrome seems to actually use less processor power than Safari! I suspect that OS X simply doesn’t like having too many processes running at the same time, and Chrome would spawn multiple new processes for each new tab. But that is just a guess. Another possibility is that Safari is even better at reducing its memory usage when it is running in the background? Whatever the cause, I hope a future update to Chrome will solve the problem…

The main advantages Chrome has over Safari are the omnibar,” which I’ve come to prefer over having search and URL separated, extensions, which can now be enabled in Safari (and for which there are already a bunch of decent options, including AdBlock), and keyword search. Only in switching to Safari do I realize how much I’ve come to depend on Chrome’s keyword search feature. Without it I feel like I’m web browsing with one hand tied behind my back. There is an application, keywurl, which adds this feature to Safari, but so far it isn’t working with Safari 5. I tried the work-around on this page, but I found it just caused Safari to crash… There are some other apps which provide similar functionality, but they don’t seem as good. I guess I’ll just wait and hope that the keywurl developer comes out with a fix soon…