What’s the best Mac Web browser?

“What’s the best web browser for Mac?” Lou Hattersley writes for Macworld UK.

“Most Mac users are familiar with Apple’s distinctive Safari web browser, especially if they use both iOS and Mac OS X (both of which use Safari as the main way to interact with the web),” Hattersley writes. “But Safari isn’t the only web browser for Mac, and it’s not necessarily the best. Your chosen web browser – the software that interprets the code of each website you visit and presents it for your enjoyment – can make a serious difference to your experience of your favourite websites.”

“Safari is the default web browser for the Mac so a lot of applications and services in Mac OS X Mavericks are designed to be compatible with Safari – which is the browser’s first advantage,” Hattersley writes. “Safari is also – unsurprisingly for an Apple product – one of the most visually pleasing browsers on the market. With its restrained grey interface, clean menu system, rounded buttons, and unobtrusive styling it makes browsing the web a pleasurable experience. It also has some great features like iCloud Tabs, Offline Reading List, and syncs bookmarks between iOS and Mac OS X devices. Safari 7 was released alongside Mac OS X Mavericks and includes iCloud Keychain, Shared Links and a Sidebar. ”

Much more in the full article here.

34 Comments

    1. No Google Chrome on my machines. No gmail, no google search (if I can help it), no google apps.

      I say no to Eric the mole and the “freetards”. Mining for private information and selling it to the highest bidder while making life difficult for anyone trying to make a living designing programs only to have the google freetards rip you off.

    1. Yes, but where’s the mention of iCab? That browser continually gets ignored by browser reviewers. As is the same as the others, it isn’t perfect, but it does have features and such to recommend it. And the developer has been very pro-Mac.

  1. I essentially only use Safari.

    NOTE: On my old PowerPC PowerBook running Tiger, which I still use when sitting by the TV or in the kitchen, I use TenFourFox, a variant of FireFox optimized for PowerPC Macs, maintained by a dedicated developer.

  2. Once again, iCab, a browser that has been around for a number of years now and has been devoted to the Mac (including iOS), was not even mentioned. One cannot encourage competition by ignoring competitors, small though they may be.

  3. Try Omniweb. it was the better browser BEFORE the others exists and overall its still the best u can find with a single download. (cough — it does not have extensions. and if u know what to do, for basic browsing, it does not need extensions.)

  4. I can’t believe he didn’t mention the epic browser, oh yeah it was a click bait article and they would not have gotten any credit for the click if everyone was using epic

  5. I am obliged to use every browser that I can run on my iMac since I must be sure that they render my website designs properly. I use Parallels and Windows XP and 7 to insure the Windows family of browsers render the site as well. There are great differences in browsers’ renderings and web designers must be aware.

  6. I’m confused. How is it possible that Internet Explorer still registers as a popular browser for Mac? It’s been discontinued since 2003. Seeing it in the popular top five of this article means two things: Mac users are (doubtfully) unsophisticated enough to realize there are better browsers out there, or the data is bunk. Am I wrong?

    1. You’ve dusted off a long-standing puzzle

      For this article, MacWorld UK used their own web usage statistics from mid-2013, presenting a rank ordering rather than % shares, noting only in passing that Safari users made up more than 50% of their own traffic.

      Other analytics sources tell different stories, based on different methodologies and populations polled. Still, each set of numbers tells a true story. They just don’t tell the same story.

      Keeping in mind that MacWorld UK’s measurements were of their Mac users, here are comparable numbers for the global browser market.

      In mid-2013, W3schools, who teach web development, reported from their log files a 12.6% IE market share, with 0.9% still owned by IE 6 and 7. (1 in 14)

      In mid-2013, Net Applications, tracking usage statistics for small to medium enterprises, reported IE’s market share of unique visitors at 55.99%. At that time, IE 6 and 7 combined still owned 7.81%. (1 in 7)

      Around the same time, StatCounter, another service monitoring website visitors, reported IE’s market share of page views as 27.72%.

      All over the map. Add more firms, throw more darts.

      I focus on IE 6 and 7 because those are the last versions supported on a Mac, as of the end of 2005. Unlike the populations surveyed by the other analytics firms, it would seem that a significant number of MacWorld UK’s site users must own Macs sold before then! Significant enough to come in ahead of Firefox and iOS Safari.

      Because of a giant installed base, those global analytics tell stories essentially about the Windows platform. And if 1 of 7 or even 1 of 14 users of Internet Explorer for Windows are stuck with ancient versions (we’re up to v.11 now), it means they are stuck with ancient machines or, what is vastly more likely, compatibility horror.

      What with PC boxes being so darn cheap, which ship with more up-to-date software, the only possible explanation is that a significant number of business applications depend on IE7 to work properly, and that the costs of upgrading their web apps or re-engineering their business interfaces are prohibitive. One would suppose that this applies only to small businesses, but keep in mind that only in the last few years have some enterprises begun to shut down Windows XP!

      As for MacWorld UK’s even higher findings of IE usage, I would not suppose that their Mac users are unsophisticated or poverty-stricken. And I hope I have demonstrated that anomalous number sets are not bunk, only disjoint sets. So I would propose that many Mac users simply do not need to upgrade their hardware — and its supported software — since it continues to work just fine for them, even after eight years or more!

      If any doubt the superior value proposition of Mac over PC, here’s a reason:

      http://www.nursingjobs.us/blog/ie7-users-we-need-to-talk/

  7. Safari would normally be my first choice, and I still use it daily, but I have aggravating problems with Safari 7, it’s so frustrating. I hope Apple is aware of its flakiness and is fixing it. Previous versions were more reliable with page loading.

  8. I prefer Chrome as it is fast but also because Java is 64-bit for a Mac and Chrome is 32-bit then Java will not run on Chrome. If I need to use Java then I use Safari.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.