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🦬 Plains.Digital Inc. 👩‍💻 📶 Do Online Better ⛅

Plains.Digitalinc.

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Because you have to make noise to be heard.

What’s the best browser to use in 2022?

It might seem obvious to say Google Chrome is the best, and only, browser option out there. After all, they currently have a resounding lead over any competition. However, other browsers exist – and it’s worth looking at them from time to time, to avoid being complacent or missing out on some great features. 

There are those of us who still remember the Browser Wars, after all.  Back in those days, before Microsoft was hit with an Antitrust lawsuit and Google eventually rose to complete dominance, your choice of browser was a hot topic and a real indicator of how cool you were. At least, in the ICQ chat rooms I belonged to it determined how cool you were. That was a normal experience, right? No? Oh well. Anyways, before we go into the existing browser choices that exist in the market today, it’s worth taking a look back, to see how we got here! 

Check out this great animation from the always impressive Visual Capitalist

👈🏽 This video really illustrates how fierce the competition was, and how completely Google dominated the market with Chrome! I personally found it fascinating to be reminded that the Opera browser has been around for as long as it has, bravely marching forward and holding on to a sliver of the global market share. Who is backing that company?

Personally, I was a Netscape Navigator diehard, through and through, until AOL bought them and screwed it up. Tech Spot has a great article expanding on the death of Netscape Navigator called, “What ever happened to Netscape?” Do you remember AOL? Fuck you, AOL. Fuck you. 💩 You suck.

As insipid as AOL was, they were nothing compared to the Empire that was (and remains) Microsoft. By bundling their Internet Explorer browser with Windows they completely shut out any competition for main stream consumers who, at the time, had little idea exactly what a browser was or why it was important. Nobody expected we’d spend the next 30 years spending a majority of our day staring at one!

Now, the long awaited death of Internet Explorer has been discussed and celebrated enough, so let’s take some time to pay attention to what’s on the market today. The browser has become one of the most important tools used in our daily lives, and its rarely given a tonne of thought by most people.

 

 

Google Chrome Logo

1. Google Chrome

Well let’s get this out of the way first! Most of your are probably reading this on Google Chrome, right now. Either on Windows PC, Mac, iPhone, or Android smartphone – Google Chrome maintains a healthy lead on all competitors. Why is that? It’s pretty simple. It’s pretty great. Although I am of the opinion that they’ve been resting on their laurels for far too long Chrome has long been the browser of choice for most people because it is the most stable, fastest, feature rich, and enjoyable browser to use. Honestly, unless you’re looking for a specific feature that a couple other browsers offer – there’s not a lot of reason NOT to use Google Chrome! 

Some valid criticisms exist. For me the largest is that over the years it has become slower and more of a resource hog. Another totally valid concern more and more people are having is about privacy and ownership of data. We all know Google takes all the data. That’s a whole other blog post. 

Safari Logo

2. Apple Safari

The 2nd largest browser out there, by market share, is Safari. While it was available for Windows years ago, Apple stopped trying and is currently only (officially) available for Macs, iPads, and iPhones.

Now, despite an early love affair with Apples earliest desktops, for most of my life I was your typical PC snob and gave no time or respect for Apple. Some of those old prejudices remain, but I now have an iPad and a Mac and there are features about them both that I absolutely adore. The default browser, Safari, is not one of them. It’s a giant steaming pile of shit and I don’t know of any reason to use it for anything other than downloading a different browser. Are you a Mac user that loves Safari? Reach out, either in the comments or directly to me, and tell me – please – what is it that makes you use this giant turd of a browser? I can’t believe that anybody using it is doing so for any reason other than apathy. Safari. Gross.  

Safari Logo

3. Microsoft Edge

If the me of 10 years ago were reading this article, I would naturally assume that I’d been compromised by the Microsoft Machine and that I needed to be put out of my misery.

Back in those heady days, I never thought I would use a Microsoft product other than Windows – intentionally – again in my life. Here’s the thing though … I was wrong. So was Microsoft! That’s why they gave up on Internet Explorer and on developing their own software of web browsing. Edge actually runs off of “Chromium” which is the code base that Chrome uses! So, essentially, while using Edge – you’re using Chrome but with a different skin.

And therein lies the unexpected surprise and one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to admit, as a die Google fan boy for 10 years+ … Edge is really, really GOOD. It’s fast, vertical tabs are a must have, all the extensions you like from Chrome work just the same, and it uses way less memory.

I switched 6 months ago, and haven’t looked back.

Go ahead, interwebs, fight me. I’m ready! 🥊 

Honorable Mentions

These browsers aren’t main stream enough yet to become daily drivers, but they each provide a unique experience that is worth checking out and possibly adding to your collection. Nobody says you have to use just one browser, after all! It’s a wild new age, embrace your polybrowsing instincts and get freaky!

Opera GX

Opera. Crazy to think that it’s the longest standing browser out there. Somehow, it holds on to a sliver of the market share – and its latest iteration is a good argument for it to stick around. Opera GX is marketing as the Browswer for Gamers, which is great, but I think that really segments and roadblocks a lot of users who would gain a lot from having it on their task bar!

Highlights: 

– “My Flow”: Connect Your smartphone, laptops, tablets through the Opera GX browser and its amazing “Flow” feature. It’s like sending an instant message to yourself. No more fumbling for Air Drops (if you’re lucky enough to be on Apple) or emailing yourself links and images. Just pop it in your flow from any device, and see it made available on EVERY device. 

Awesome.