Apple is smart enough to provide Mac, iPhone, and iPad users a long list of useful applications; not necessarily the best-of-breed in every category, but certainly useful to every customer. From Safari to Mail, from Reminders to Notes, from FaceTime to iMovie and Photos, Apple gives us almost all we need to conduct ourselves well online.
Why doesn’t Apple give us the best browser? Safari is good; faster than Google’s Chrome, the most popular browser on planet earth, but as much as Apple touts privacy, the options to select a default search engine beyond Google– one of the planet’s most prolific privacy abusers– are anemic. Where is the StartPage option?
Apple’s neglect has forced me into the waiting arms of a better browser.
Better browser? The latest Firefox is the best browser Mac users can use. Right out of the box (free download) Firefox is faster than Safari, blocks trackers and ads, and uses far less power than Google’s Chrome, a known battery hog. Mac notebook users will prefer to use Firefox once they see how it handles power usage.
Power, though, is only part of the equation.
Firefox has an Enhanced Tracking Protection which blocks third-party cookies in addition to trackers and ads. The end result is a browser that downloads webpages much faster than Safari, far faster than Google’s Chrome or other Chromium-based browsers, and uses less bandwidth to do the dead.
What you get in addition to all that is Social Tracking protection so Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites cannot track where else you browse the web. Firefox Lockwise works much like Apple’s built-in Keychain and syncs passwords and login ID’s across all devices– there’s a Firefox version for iPhone and iPad, as well as Windows.
One of my add-ons for both Safari and Firefox is Ghostery, an extension that lets you see what websites track you. One click and you get the goodies. A favorite Apple-oriented website is iMore. Lots of content. Lots of trackers. Ghostery reported 37 on the home page alone. Compare that to John Gruber’s Daring Fireball which has two– one tracker, one analytics tracker.
Toolbotix and all the websites in the Villagers group gets a big fat zero. No trackers. No cookies. No analytics trackers. Zero. All our websites load screaming fast by comparison to most because there is less to download to your browser.
Firefox just makes it easier, faster, and more private without having to worry about an arm’s length of settings or extensions to get there. Faster, more private, more secure, and free.
Ain’t competition great?