Don't Run Chrome
4 min read

Don't Run Chrome

I would think a browser is a browser. It's not. Some things work better in Chrome. But, that's not my problem. My computer has a browser, and if you want me to use your software, it needs to work in Safari or I consider it broken.
Don't Run Chrome

"We recommend using chrome" is something I used to hear from IT, and now hear from my kids' school.

It's become a signal to me for someone who is either selfish or lacks critical thinking skills (or both). Or lazy. Let's not forget lazy when considering traditional educators and their (lack of) understanding of technology.

I'm not a developer, a role I suspect Chrome is nicely suited for. I am someone who uses a laptop, and wants to preserve its limited battery life and memory/RAM and who is concerned about my online-privacy.

Chrome is the antithesis of what I need. So, if you're telling me to use Chrome to solve the problems I'm having with your software or website, then you're only considering yourself.

Let's look at three areas where Chrome fails from my perspective as the user:

  1. Performance
  2. Security
  3. Privacy

Performance

That said, I've found some proof that I'm right, that Chrome's performance compared to Safari is awful. I want to preserve it somewhere I can find it again so that when someone asks me to use Chrome, I can just send them to this post.

More charts and discussion about chrome vs safari here, but it's worth highlighting the following two charts for those uninterested in clicking through:

Security

An update July '21.

The app stores are in the news lately. Apple in particular, either as a gatekeeper or as a roadblock to free commerce. You choose. Frankly, I trust them more than others. I have seen how badly Windows machines get "gunked up" by bad software.  I'd much rather Apple's heavy hand, and a better device experience.

As I was updating this post to include the section below on privacy, I wanted to add in this bit about how Google has designed the Chrome updater to behave like malware. They've figured out how to work around Apple's MacOS system level protections. In addition to causing the above mentioned CPU/Battery issues, it's a real security issue.

From the article:

The folks over at E-Thinkers say what Google claims the file does is "harmless." However, because of how it's been designed, it "behaves like a malware."
Here’s how to squash Google’s invasive update app on Mac
Google likes to grab personal information using a Mac app that acts like malware. Remove it forever by following these steps.

Privacy

Updating my original March '21 thoughts to include this piece from Zac on Forbes:

Why Delayed Google Chrome Update Is A Reason To Switch
Billions of users warned to quit Chrome as Google confirms surprise delay in banishing tracking cookies...

TLDR; privacy is becoming a bigger issue with Apple's iOS 14 ad tracking changes. Google's not sure how to respond, and Facebook faces a material threat.

Summary

Google behaves like they can do whatever they want to your machine, hoping that you don't notice. And, when you do notice they say they're "just being helpful."

IT goes along with this line of bullshit through laziness and self-interest.

In truth, these are symtoms of a larger problem in the corporate world. I'm fascinated by the whole thing, and I'm sure to write more on these ideas as they're going to affect the world in which I prepare my children to be successful.

If you need the compatibility that Chrome delivers, just run Brave instead. It's much better, fully compatible,  and in their own words:

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