Alright, that is a sensationalist title, but I needed a strong title to show my hypocrisy. Today, I have made the switch from Safari 3 to Firefox 3. I have realized despite the numerous advantages Safari has with direct operating system integration, Firefox still wins out feature-wise. To help make my decision, I made several lists of the advantages and disadvantages that matter to me. Below are those lists.
Advantages of Safari
- Operating system dictionary integration. Supporting shortcuts like dictionary lookup (command+shift+D).
- iPod touch bookmark syncing.
- Launches fairly fast and browses pretty quickly.
- Has an amazing search plugin.
- Interface is completely “Mac-like”.
Disadvantages of Safari
- Flash currently chokes in Safari. Safari won’t crash, but can easily freeze for over a minute when viewing Flash content.
- After three operating system updates, the vanishing cookie bug remains.
- Some websites still won’t let you use Safari to fill out forms, etc.
Advantages of Firefox
- Lightning fast. Has not crashed or froze on me once since install.
- The amazing awesome bar.
- The bookmark “star” system works wonders. Very easy for temporarily bookmarking websites for later reference.
- When multiple tabs are open, the tab bar scrolls.
- Supports Google Gears.
- Extensions can fill any feature void.
Disadvantages of Firefox
- Interface is only partially Mac-like, even with GrApple.
- Spell checking is not as nice as Safari.
- Firefox 3 occasionally renders some pages strangly, due to the new text rendering.
Looking over the lists, Safari’s advantages are mostly in the interface, while the disadvantages can quickly become show stoppers. For Firefox, the advantages are in the features, while the disadvantages are only minor quibbles. When you enumerate the features, Firefox wins hands down – at least for me.
So, my final ruling is Firefox wins this browser round. If Safari 4 can manage to fix the Flash freezes and remember cookies, Safari has a good chance of winning round 4. Until then, Firefox will remain my browser of choice.