What browser is on your Mac? Safari tops the list for most Mac users, followed by Google’s Chrome and Mozilla’s Firefox; mostly in that order. While Safari has been a Mac user’s go to browser since Microsoft dropped Internet Explorer, Firefox has been a good alternative, mostly thanks to cross platform extensions that worked on Windows and Mac OS X.
Today we live in The Golden Age of browsers; whether macOS, Windows 10, Android, or Linux. All the major browsers are decent, fast, render pages well, and more secure than those of yesteryear. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is fading fast and Mozilla’s Firefox seems to be on a resurrection tour with new focus on privacy, security, and speed.
Liam Tung on Mozilla’s near term future:
Mozilla says it will proceed and implement last year’s experiment with a breach alerts service, which will warn users when their credentials have been leaked or stolen in a data breach. Mozilla aims to roll out the service around October.
That alone could be a big deal as most of the web’s browser malware comes from known infected websites.
Firefox will also implement a similar block on autoplay video to the one Chrome 66 will introduce next month, and that Safari already has.
Autoplay videos generally are not safe for work (NSFW) so this is a welcome addition. What took them so long?
I’m running Firefox 59.x now and it remains the fastest browser I have ever used on a Mac. Sadly, it is not the same Firefox on iOS for iPhone and iPad. Coming in mid-Spring is Firefox 62.
[Firefox] will gain an optional Chrome-like ad filter and several privacy-enhancing features similar to those that Apple’s WebKit developers have been working on for Safari’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention.
Cross domain tracking prevention– already implemented in Safari– will show up later in 2018. Mozilla is working on a way to prevent specific types of ads while allowing others to remain visible.
Similar changes are being implemented on Google’s Chrome browser in an effort to control online advertising in the age of ad blockers. Each year for the past three years I ran a small script survey to determine how many visitors to McSolo use an ad blocker. Three years ago it was just over 20-percent. In 2016 it was more than 25-percent. Last year ad blocker usage exceeded 30-percent. Clearly, ad blocking has come of age; a trend with legs.
This is exactly what takes place when there is competition. Each of the major players has had to up their game. While I use Safari more on iPhone and iPad– other browsers use the same engine and don’t have enough extra features to switch– Firefox has gained on my Mac while Chrome has lost.