The browser wars have not ended, and Google makes bold claims that its Chrome browser is now faster than Apple’s Safari browser. However, nothing is said about Microsoft’s competing browser, Edge.
Google has just released an update for its Chrome browser, and it is using the opportunity to blow its own trumpet. According to a blog post, the new update, version M99, makes the browser faster and more responsive on Macs than Apple’s native browser, Safari.
The test was carried out on a 14-inch MacBook Pro equipped with a 10-core M1 Max chip with 64 GB of RAM. Chrome even performed better when the test was repeated on less powerful hardware.
While performance is important when browsing the web, as nobody wants to wait forever for a webpage to load, speed is no longer a critical criterion as it used to be at the height of the browser wars. These days, the complaint is more about how much computing resources browsers take. This is an area that Google has room for improvement, to free the system’s resources for other applications and improve the battery life.
Also, note that you might not be able to get the same speed Google got on your own MacBook.
But hey, it is nice to practice self-improvement. For example, Google says Chrome browser is now 43 percent faster than it was less than 20 months ago. Also, the browser loads 15 percent faster on Android devices.
For other features and gains, here are excerpts from the Chrome team’s blog post:
“Building on many performance changes over the last year, we enabled ThinLTO in M99, a build optimization technique that inlines speed-critical parts of the code base, even when they span multiple files or libraries. The result? An additional across-the-board speed bump that makes Chrome 7% faster than current builds of Safari. Combined with recent graphics optimizations (namely, pass-through decoder and out-of-process rasterization), our tests have also shown Chrome’s graphics performance to be 15% faster than Safari. Overall, since launching Chrome on M1-based Macs in late 2020, Chrome is now 43% faster than it was just 17 months ago!”
“Chrome continues to get faster on Android as well. Loading a page now takes 15% less time, thanks to prioritizing critical navigation moments on the browser user interface thread. Last year we also reduced startup time for Chrome on Android by 13% using Freeze-Dried Tabs. This approach conserves resources across the board by using a lightweight version of tabs on load while the actual tab loads in the background. Finally, we were able to improve speed and memory usage using Isolated Splits, which improved startup time by preloading the majority of the browser process code on a background thread.”
The Chrome team committed to making the browser even better in the future.