Safari is, by far, the most popular browser on iOS. This is because Apple doesn’t allow users to change their default browser, so links in a majority of apps will open in Safari by default. Most people never attempt to use a third party browser on iOS because of this. This is fine though, as iOS’s Safari has the most third party extensions out of any browser on the platform, and it’s also the fastest. However, Safari’s lead over other browsers isn’t as gargantuan on macOS. In fact, among certain users (techies, in my experience), Chrome is the most popular browser. However, among the general population, Safari still has a lead over Chrome.
Performance alone might not be the only thing that can keep Safari in the lead on macOS. The browser still lags behind Chrome, Firefox, and even Microsoft’s Edge in terms of browser extendability. However, that tradeoff comes with enhanced security, and Safari is still the fastest and most efficient browser, and its cross-platform syncing over iCloud is seamless. With the performance gap between Safari and other browsers becoming so dramatic, could we see a swing of users returning to Safari on macOS, or are people too reliant on their extensions and themes to give it a try? We’ll have to wait to see if the Safari enhancements in High Sierra bring about a change over time.
- Ed Bott, ZDNet: “Which browser is most popular on each major operating system?“
- Roman Loyola, Macworld: “It’s official: Safari 11 is the fastest web browser for the Mac.“