Do you know how many web browsers can run on a Mac these days? Me neither. I lost count. From what I can tell, and it’s likely the same for most Apple-oriented websites, these are the most popular browsers for Mac users.
Safari tops the list and has since it was introduced way back when. Mozilla Firefox used to be the second most used browser on a Mac, but that position has been supplanted by Google’s Chrome, which reigns supreme as the world’s most used browser on Android and Windows but follows Safari on Mac, iPhone, and iPad, which makes Apple’s official browser the second most used in the world.
What’s left? Firefox. After that it’s a very long, long tail of different browsers that range from Opera, which has been around forever, has a few hundred million users, but not used much by Mac users. Recently, I’ve been trying out different browsers and while most do exactly the same thing– display webpages– there are granular differences for each.
Here’s a list of browsers I’ve used recently. Most are free and do much the same thing, but do it a bit differently (and only those that have been updated recently).
Roccat 6 – The most notable thing about Roccat is the preview tabs which let you view a thumbnail of the bookmarked website. There’s more, though, including ad blocker, some colorful effects, undercover browsing, cookie management, and a page auto loader.
Maxthon – This one is available on the Mac App Store, too, so updates are easier to get, and there are versions for Android, Windows, and iOS. Why? I don’t know. Maxthon has been around more than a decade, has some nifty features which include ad blocking (all the rage these days) and other privacy options.
SeaMonkey – Think Firefox with email. Or, think Netscape Communicator if Netscape had lived. It did not, so SeaMonkey.
Vivaldi – I like this one. Vivaldi is free, too, but highly customizable from a visual perspective. Lots of tab options and other features have their own names. Speed Dial – a bookmark. Rewind – the back button. Fast Forward – self explanatory. But it also has built-in notes, a side panel, search engine choices, and a trash can (which simply restores closed tabs or pop-ups).
Brave – This one has a focus on security and privacy and blocks ads and trackers, but is unique in that it supports publishers with a built-in micropayments system. That’s Brave.
There are others. Lots of them. iCab is still around (and has a price tag). There’s a Tor Browser Bundle for the paranoid. Sleipnir. In Japanese. And various Chrome-based and Firefox-based also rans which either take out features to make the browser much faster, or add specific features not found elsewhere. Many of these browsers also show up for iPhone and iPad.
Are there too many Mac browsers?
I don’t get the business model for those beyond Safari, Firefox, and Chrome, but it’s not for me to determine. Choice and competition are good.