Switching Over

I’m finally fed up enough with Google Chrome to drop it entirely. Safari, treat me well.
I figure it’s as good at time for it as any – I’m running iOS 9 on my phone, and I’ll be upgrading to El Capitan on my Macbook eventually, which’ll give it even more of a performance boost.
And hey, would you look at that, my battery life has already improved a little bit.
The UI difference is a bit of a step, and the fact that I’m sitting here with bandwidth on the order of 50 KBps downstream while trying to install the plugins that I can’t live without1 is making this a bit of an annoying first impression, but I’ll live with it.
Why did I ditch Chrome, you ask? A couple reasons.
First off, the mobile app: on iOS, there are Rules. One of these is that all web rendering has to use the OS-level WebKit engine. Which means that any benefits of Chrome that there once were – the Blink rendering engine, specifically – don’t exist. All browsers you download on your iPhone/iPad/iPod are nothing but Safari with a different coat of paint.
I was using Chrome on iOS because the sync services were better2 and because I was using Chrome on my desktop. Neither of those are very big points in favor, especially since I’m using Pocket for anything that I want moving around rapidly. Bookmarks are not something I use very frequently.
The main reason was because of the UI differences: the gestural new-tab, close-tab, and refresh thing is wonderful, I must say. And the ‘swipe to change tabs’ thing is something I use all the time.
Of course, the new-/close-tab/refresh thing works about 1/3 of the time. I haven’t the faintest clue why it doesn’t work the rest of the time, it just seems badly implemented.
And the second-to-last Chrome update got rid of swipe-to-change-tabs.3 The one after that added it back… but only on the tab bar, which entirely misses the point. Now I have to stretch my thumb or use the double-tap-home-button Reachability thing to switch tabs, and there’s no benefit to it over the tab button.
So, put simply, Google killed off the only distinguishing feature of Chrome on iOS.
That wasn’t actually the final straw for me. That little camel-back-breaking bit was opening Chrome on my laptop to find that I couldn’t get rid of the useless little ‘persona switcher’ thing. That first showed up as a beta feature months ago and I immediately disabled it. If I want multiple users on my laptop, I’ll use the built in features for that. Stop shoving Chrome OS features down my throat. I tried Chrome OS when I had a Chromebook. There’s a reason nobody who can afford a non-Chromebook buys anything but a Chromebook. It’s because your OS sucks.
So, I’m now using Safari full-time. We’ll see how this goes.


  1. Feedly, Pocket, Disconnect. First two were fine, but Disconnect is running at about 4 KBps for a 70 MB download, so… this is gonna be a while. 
  2. Though not by much – bookmark sync works fine in iCloud as well as in Google Chrome Sync, but iCloud Tabs sync about once a week whereas Google Chrome Sync tabs move around about once every 15 minutes, as far as I can tell from my anecdotal evidence. 
  3. I, of course, immediately tried to leave a bad review on the App Store to express my displeasure, but Apple has (rightly) removed the ability to leave reviews from beta versions of iOS.