How many browsers are on your Mac? Safari? Firefox? Google’s Chrome? There’s something strange going on in browser land, folks. Safari is at version 5. Firefox is at version 6. Chrome is at version 15.
Automatically Updated Browsers
I was browsing the web today and came across a link to Google Chrome, version 15. 15? This browser is barely three years old. 15?
I didn’t even remember version 14. Shouldn’t you have to upgrade from what you’ve got to something else before you get the latest? Then I checked Chrome on my Mac. Just a few weeks ago it was at version 13-dot-something or other.
My Chrome version today is 14.0.835.186. Google updated me from the old version 13 to the latest. Automatically. The 15-dot-whatever version is still in beta. Until next week.
What’s new in all these new versions? Not much. It’s still the ugliest major browser on earth (that’s what Google calls streamlined, clean, and simple). But it’s fast. Flash is built in, which means I don’t need to use Flash on Safari or Firefox.
Two visual esthetics Google has over Safari include the tabs (not how they look, but how they work). You can click in the same spot and click again and again and one by one, the tabs will be deleted. Not so in Safari.
Second, Google merges the search and URL navigation in the same box. That’s better than two boxes, Safari. But you still can’t double click and get another tab. You have to click the New Tab Button. Engineers. Harumph.
Most of Chrome’s goodness lies underneath where you can’t see it. It has built-in phishing and malware protection, the aforementioned autoupdates (which Safari sorely needs), in browser translation, and a few nods to uniqueness from the Googlebots, themes and extensions.
Safari doesn’t behave like a good Mac citizen anymore, what with strange behavior in tabs, persistent problems with Flash, and the occasional glitch of windows zooming when the intent wasn’t to zoom. Maybe Chrome’s competition has Apple a little worried.
Chrome’s version party has me stumped. I calculated, and by the end of 2014, Chrome should be running version 59. That’s OK. Safari will be at version 7 by then.