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The problem with these articles is that the recommendation always ends up just preaching to the choir: people who already switched away from Chrome nod in appreciation, but people who haven't switched literally get nothing out of these posts to convince them to switch to what is basically the same application made by a different company, with completely different conventions on where everything is, without any concrete perceived benefits (security and tracking are invisible problems, you don't sell someone on switching by saying they won't have them anymore, no matter how important you think that is). And to boot, the switch would almost certainly make things worse because add-ons people relied on won't work and now you've burdened them with having to find new and unfamiliar alternatives to what they were comfortable with.

Chrome's main problem isn't that it's overstayed its welcome and is strangling the web (whatever you want that to mean), it's that it's so pervasive that people have become accustomed to it to such a degree that you're now faced with needing to convince people to give up what they're accustomed to. And that's a _much_ harder sell. Using chrome needs to literally be a grating or even damaging experience before someone will voluntarily switch to a different browser.




I gave Firefox a solid test last year (about 3 months of dedicated use at work + home) and I ended up coming back to Chrome. There are some really great things about Firefox. It has gotten so much better and faster than it was, but Chrome still struggles less with troublesome websites, and seems to load all pages faster overall.

I'm keeping my eye on Firefox, but Chrome still gets my business for now.


I use both on a daily basis, and even I have no idea why I'd pick one over the other, except for power-user functions that 96% of the world couldn't care less about. In normal use, even standard dev work, they both do what I need them to do, and I (infrequently) run into bugs for both of them.

And honestly, at this point I don't even bother opening sites that struggle in one with the other: I just go "you clearly just didn't care to develop your website to work cross browser, good job, goodbye forever" and close the tab.

For almost everything, both browsers are identical except for the veneer their UIs present. They have different quirks, but a reasonably generated website or React app will work just fine in both. So while, if someone asked me to recommend one, I would absolutely tell them to get Firefox: not one asks for recommendations... everyone's already using either Chrome, or "the ios browser".

(and safari on iOS really _is_ the new IE6. I 100% disagree with the article's claim that Apple is making good strides, there. It needs to get out the shotgun and take Safari out to the back of the barn)


I dev with Chrome for the dev tools and use firefox for literally everything else, the Tab containers thing was the latest in a long sequence of "man they make that so much easier than Chrome" features.

Used both for a long time.


I'm okay with the dev tools in either. Install the React dev tools addons in both browsers and you're basically 99% of the way there =P

(I like chrome's mobile 'simulation' better, but both still lack lots of things I wish I could do, like simulating tiny CPUs or limited RAM, actually tracing through setTimeout, etc)


I use both regularly, and the only differences that I've noticed are related to Google web properties (particularly gmail and youtube), where Firefox has to rely on inefficient polyfills for chrome-specific features (I think, based on some googling one time, take this with a grain of salt.) What troublesome websites does Chrome work better on in your experience?


Same here - made a switch and switched back quickly after.

1. Compatibility - random sites would just break...I reckon 15% of the time

2. Battery life - FF destroyed my battery life. To the tune of 8 hours on Chrome vs like 2 on FF.


Did you have add-ons in Firefox? I almost never have sites break—certainly not anywhere near 15% of the time. And at least 95% of the time I've had issues in the past, it has turned out to be an add-on causing problems, rather than the browser itself. (Ad blockers would be the first thing to check in the case of random breakages.)


I don't think 15% is accurate, I only know of 1 site that breaks under Firefox and that is operated at minimum budget by a chinese electronics shop. I've literally never found any other site that broke on Firefox.


I suspect more detail regarding your setup would prove to be useful for context as neither one of your bullets point towards an issue with Firefox directly.


> and I ended up coming back to Chrome

same, except i use Brave (Chromium minus the Google crap/tracking.)

I try Firefox after every major update, but for me "pinch to zoom" not working for the trackpad is the biggest flaw. It's so frustrating/such a basic feature.

Safari and Chrome have had this feature for at least 6 years.


>the switch would almost certainly make things worse because add-ons people relied on won't work and now you've burdened them with having to find new and unfamiliar alternatives to what they were comfortable with.

I have no data to back this up so you could say I'm just talking out of my ass, but I would guess that the non-technical users who makes up most of Chrome's userbase either don't use any add-ons at all or mainly use extremely popular ones that have equivalents in other web browsers like adblock.

I 100% agree with everything else though, the average user who uses a web browser exclusively for instagram and gmail does not see things like small performance increases or privacy as being worth changing habits for. Hell, some of the technical people I work with have no problem with companies/the NSA spying on them because they have "nothing to hide". I really think the only reason Chrome got so popular was because the meme that Internet Explorer sucks premeated our culture so strongly that basically everyone started to know that the first thing you do with a new computer is use IE to download a different browser, and what better to use than the one made by the search engine you use every day?


I think you'll find that a billion dollar company throwing literally hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising to get people to use their product, all at the same time across multiple continents, has far more of an effect than you are giving it credit for. If you're using IE, but your _train station_ has a wall-sized poster going "pst, give Chrome a try", and every other train station does too, then your average person will absolutely give in to that poster's suggestion after being exposed to it for 14 days straight. Even if it's only so that they can tell their friends they tried it.

Chrome's campaign was a phenomenal example of a successful international product launch. Made even more impressive because it was for software, something most people /really/ don't care about.


You hit the nail on the head: the problem with overturning the status quo is that you can't offer an alternative that is just as good -- it needs to be better.


We don't know that this kind of article doesn't have effects.

If there's always some subpopulation who's never heard of diet coke & mentos (https://www.xkcd.com/1053/ ), it's pretty likely that there's some subpopulation that is unaware of the implications of Chrome's dominance combined with Google's business model and amenable to arguments that something like Firefox or even Safari might be a better choice.

And I think it's also worth considering that Firefox made significant strides into IE's marketshare back in the early/mid 2000s when users ostensibly had no reason to care by the standard of "no concrete/perceived benefits", since everyone had to code to accomodate IE. There's no other reasonable model I can think of other than IT professionals frequently recommending FF, and many non-pros finding that recommendation compelling enough to switch.


I only recommend Brave nowadays and tbh it's an easy sell because it's: familiar as it uses Chromium and so compatible with Chrome plugins, much faster than Chrome, and uses a lot less battery compared to other browsers (particularly on mobile).

The speed and energy usage points instantly resonate with less technical folk who aren't so invested in browser wars.

For those who care a little more the increased security, ad / tracking blocking, tor integration etc are just the icing on the cake.


>"with completely different conventions on where everything is"

...what?


GP is talking about how other web browsers have different conventions for where different web browsers place standard UI elements. Tabs on top, tabs beneath the addresss bar, separated search bars, different icons and terminology for the same concept, different items in the "share" pop ups, different placement of global menus, different customisability of the basic user interface layout, etc.

These are things to which we technically minded can easily adapt, but for the less technically literate it's bewildering, confusing, and possibly enough to make them angry.


Agreed. Aside from some vague intimations that Google is using Chrome as a business tool, it really didn't present much of an argument to switch to something else.

Furthermore I'd argue that if the author hasn't used Chrome since 2014, he's not well positioned to comment on its usability today.


> Agreed. Aside from some vague intimations that Google is using Chrome as a business tool

Not sure about 'vague', they're using non-standard APIs to advantage their browser accross Google products, implemented a forced Chrome login and are planning to remove ad blocking APIs, the last one being the most clear case of Chrome being used to support their primary source of revenue.




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