After a few hurdles, Google Chrome was made available for Apple’s M1 MacBooks in November 2020.
Many thought the app would have a different treatment, but it is still resource-intensive. It is still the fastest web browser on Windows, but it struggled initially for the M1 Macs.
Chrome version 99 made it faster than Apple Safari on Mac, with significant speed gains since Apple released its first non-Intel M1-based Macs in 2020.
Google Chrome is overwhelmingly popular on macOS as a non-default browser. Still, its influx of browsers (like Vivaldi and Arc) is taking away its reputation of being lightweight and fast.
Several tech outlets believe (and prove) that Safari is faster on Chrome as it’s better at protecting your privacy, more energy-efficient, and works seamlessly with the Apple ecosystem.
If you can’t decide which browser is the best for your M1 (M2) Mac, here are a few sub-topics that’ll help you be decisive.
Google found Chrome 99 on Mac scored 300 in Speedometer, making it the highest of any browser on macOS, including the WebKit-based Safari and other Chromium-based browsers – Microsoft Edge, Brave, and even Vivaldi.
Google also explained the changes in a recent blog post leading up to the release of Chrome M99. The search giant
has been tracking the speed of Chrome over the past few years, ever since the first M1-based Mac was introduced in late 2020.
In the blog post, Google states that graphics performance is 15% faster than Safari, while Chrome is almost 50% faster than when the first M1-powered test was run. It’s a remarkable feat for a world-known browser used across various devices.
Apple has made some impressive changes to Safari on the Mac to provide a more reliable web browsing experience. It is the best it’s ever been, but it still needs some improvements.
Also, Apple stuck with its in-house development of Safari, unlike Microsoft Edge, which took the Google route and adopted Google’s Chromium source code – for good and for bad.
Google’s recent updates to Chrome browser have given Safari a worthy competitor.
Here are a few reasons you should use Safari:
1. Safari integrates better with the Apple Ecosystem
If you have all the standalone Apple devices – iPhone, iPad, Mac, or iMac, Safari is the easy choice as it just integrates better with your passwords as they are managed by Apple’s system-wide tool and synced using iCloud. The same goes for your bookmarks.
If you use an iPhone or an iPad, the *’Handoff’* feature allows you to go to a Safari site, pick up your Mac, and go immediately to the same site. Moreover, you can also use *Face ID* or *Touch ID* on your iPhone to autofill one-time passcodes that are texted to your iPhone when logging in to different sites or authorizing Apple Pay purchases.
2. There’s no Chrome support below El Capitan
Any Mac running macOS El Capitan or older does not meet Chrome’s system requirements. Yes, you can update your Mac, but many people don’t want to or can’t update for various reasons. This includes people on older computers that don’t support the latest version of macOS.
Safari is available for any macOS version because it’s built into the operating system, even though you won’t get the classic Chrome features.
3. Chrome Extensions are a nuisance!
Google Chrome is the clear winner when it comes to extensions. But such an extensive extension library comes with a price.
Extensions can have privacy problems, as many of them need extensive access to your browsing. Although there aren’t as many extensions with Safari, they have undergone a closer inspection than what you’ll find for Google Chrome.
4. Chrome is an expert at draining more power than Safari
Chrome is infamous for hogging RAM and draining the battery on laptops. This problem is especially prominent when comparing Chrome to Safari, which is optimized for working efficiently on Macs.
On a MacBook, click the battery icon in the menu bar to see which apps use a significant amount of energy. If you’ve got Chrome running, it will often show here.
Google has worked hard to solve this issue and made remarkable progress.
Here are a few reasons you should use Google Chrome:
1. It’s easy to use
Safari is confusing. I asked people which browser they preferred between Chrome and Safari, and most preferred Chrome as it is easy to use.
Chrome has been around for a long time and comes with a highly streamlined UI, which can be customized with extensions, themes, and more.
2. Additional features
When it comes to Google Chrome, you can do several things better, like fine-tuning your experience watching YouTube videos or creating spreadsheets. Google Chrome has numerous extensions that are free to install.
Does Chrome work on M1 Mac?
According to Google, Chrome is 43% faster on Apple’s M1 Macs than it was a year and a half ago.
Which is better on M1 Mac – Safari or Chrome?
Google states that browsing on Chrome is the fastest on M1 Macs, benchmarking around 7% faster than Safari. Chrome M99 also set a speed record with a score of 300 on a benchmark created by Apple’s WebKit team.
Which browser is best for MacBook Air M1?
Safari is the default browser on the M1 MacBook Air (or any standalone Apple product). It offers the most seamless integration with the device regarding privacy, customization, compatibility, and speed. However, it’s neck and neck between Chrome and Safari as Google has extensively improved the former.
What browser can I use on M1 MacBook Air?
Several options will help you browse on your M1 MacBook Air – or even the M1 Pro/Max and M2 Models. They include Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, and the newly introduced Arc browser.
Is it worth getting an M1 Mac?
M1 is Apple’s foray into silicon, throwing Intel out of the water. The base-level chip has an eight-core CPU and up to an eight-core GPU with support for up to 16 GB of unified memory (RAM) at an extra cost. It’s much faster than any previous Intel-powered MacBook Pro and is the practical choice for most people.
But, if you have the budget, go for either the M1 Pro 14″ or the 2022 M2 MacBook Air. Even though the performance improvement is subtle, it’s the newest in Apple’s most-used lineup.
Now you know that Chrome works well on M1 or M2 Macs.
Since Google started offering a universal version of Google Chrome, it can run natively on Intel-based Macs and Apple Silicon, even the future versions.
Though the Safari versus Chrome debate still has a globally divided audience, other options exist. If you dislike both browsers, you can always look for the best alternative browsers for Mac users.
If you’re content with what Chrome or Safari offers, you should stick to what you are the most comfortable with.
From a few tests, it is clear that Google is making some strides in Chrome that could even turn Safari users on its side.
Safari is primarily based on open-source software – mainly WebKit, unlike Chrome which is based on Chromium, which means fewer features and a less-intensive browser.
Chrome is still a resource-hungry browser, but many overlook the flaw as it has an extensive list of features.
I am currently using the Arc browser by the Browser Company, which is better than Safari and Chrome.
It’s still not widely available, and I had to sign up from multiple emails to get the beta DMG file. It was worth all the extra effort. If you get your hands on it, do give it a try.