I’ve been a Firefox user for years, ever since it first came out. I’m pretty sure I was an active user of the initial beta versions, even before version 1.0 was released. That was back in my Windows days, when my irritations with Internet Explorer had me trying several different browsers in an attempt to find a winner.
From the beginning, I loved Firefox. It was quick, intuitive, and best of all, extensible. As time went on, I could find extensions to do just about anything I wanted to. It was great! Even after my switch to the Mac three years ago, Firefox was the browser of choice for me. Times, however, have changed.
Lately, Firefox 3 has been a pain. I’ve been getting horrendous slowdowns, memory drains, application crashes, and other problems. I was surprised to find myself searching for an alternative to my alternative browser. I was even more surprised to discover that Safari was my answer.
Apple’s release of Safari beta 4 made a lot of headlines recently, and I was listening.
I kept hearing about how it was the fastest browser in history, and about its cool new features like “Top Sites.” I had tried Safari off and on for a while, but never liked it. Would beta 4 be any different?
The answer, I’m happy to say, is yes. I installed it a week ago and have been using it exclusively at home and work on my three Macs since then. I have been blown away with its performance. It opens almost instantly and pulls up web pages noticeably faster than any other browser I’ve ever used. And, I realized that I really didn’t miss any of my Firefox extensions at all. What I was using was probably just slowing the browser down, anyway.
I haven’t run any benchmarks or side-by-side comparisons between Firefox and Safari 4. I’m honestly not that interested. All I can say is that I’ve used both, and despite my longtime love of Firefox, Safari is my new browser of choice. In fact, I’ve been so impressed with Apple’s Safari that I’ve started giving Apple’s other core apps, like iChat, a second look. Will iChat now replace Adium as my go-to chat client? It’s looking pretty likely.