I recently did something that I hadn’t done since about 2002. I changed my primary web browser.
Those of you who have read this blog for a long time will know that I’ve been an avid Mozilla Firefox user. I donated to the two-page New York Times advert in 2004, back when Microsoft Internet Explorer had over 90% market share. I recommended it to friends, and regularly talked about it on here.
Recently, I’ve fallen out with Firefox. It’s very slow on my Mac, and whilst that it is more to do with my Mac being very old, having to wait ages for it to load is frustrating. This is despite installing an addon which automatically stops pages that take too long to load. And I had some problems with Firefox Sync not working. It seems okay now, but it was kind-of like the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I’ve used Google Chrome alongside Firefox for some time. Indeed, I use an app called Choose Wisely, so that I can select which browser to use when a link is clicked. Chrome was my ‘barebones’ browser, with no ad blocker and minimal privacy controls – useful for cashback web sites like Quidco and Topcashback which need cookies to track purchases properly. And, indeed, any web site that didn’t display correctly in Firefox, which includes one that I need to use for work. And yes, I’ve tried disabling Adblock Plus on it and everything else.
So now Chrome is my main web browser for day-to-day browsing. It seems to be faster, and more web sites work on it. I still use Firefox for browsing advert-heavy web sites like those of local newspapers, simply because they’re unbearable without an ad blocker these days.
I still like Firefox and hope this won’t be a permanent change; forthcoming changes to Firefox’s architecture, with multiple process for different tabs and the interface will bring to it one of Chrome’s best features. But for now, using Chrome is just easier.
As an aside, I don’t use Chrome on iOS – I still use Safari, but with the Focus by Firefox content blocker.