I gave up all things Google and refuse to use Chrome. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me or anyone else who uses a browser designed to track your online presence to gather private information for ill gotten gains. Google should pay us to use Chrome.
After trying a bunch of rather decent browser wannabes on Mac, iPhone, and iPad, I’ve come to the conclusion that Safari is pretty damned good, Firefox can be even better, Brave and Vivaldi have a future, but all of them fall short of the basics most of us want and need.
Browsing in the 21st century is not all about built-in ad blockers and tracker blockers. We need some features that make the experience worthwhile.
Here are some examples:
Vivaldi – If you like Chrome but don’t like Google, Vivaldi is a good choice for Mac or Windows users. It looks and feels like Chrome. It runs Chrome extensions. It has tabs and bookmarks and syncs between devices. Unfortunately, there’s no iOS version to match. Pity.
Brave – If you prefer lean and mean and clean, Brave is the answer. Almost. Nothing stops ads and trackers better and it runs on Mac, iPhone and iPad, Android and Amazon, even Windows and Linux. Brave keeps score of trackers, too, and has a new system to help publishers whose ads are blocked. I like it. Brave does not sync between Mac and iOS, though. Pity.
Opera – The browser that has been around forever also has a built-in VPN to help hide your tracks online. Opera, like Brave, runs on almost anything, features a built-in ad blocker and tracker blocker, syncs between devices, but the iOS versions are anemic. Except for the new Opera Touch which has loads of promise thanks to a clever and new one-handed interface which makes it easier to navigate iPhones with large screens.
My fear with using anything Opera is similar to my disdain for anything Google. A company in China bought Opera so I have some doubts about how secure and private my browsing will be.
For now, I stick with Safari for some basic web surfing, use StartPage instead of Google for search; and use Firefox because it is so damned fast, has all the proper bells and whistles, gets down and dirty with privacy and security, but the iOS versions remain mostly anemic.
This may be the Golden Age of Browsers but not all gold has the same value.