App showdown: Firefox vs. Chrome

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Let’s be honest: The web-browser competition is pretty much a two-horse race by now. Internet Explorer is the butt of all jokes and is pretty much only used to download other browsers. Safari really isn’t much better, and Opera constantly has to remind people it still exists (which it does, shockingly enough!). When people ask “What browser?” they usually mean Chrome or Firefox — end of story. This isn’t some trivial decision, either: The web browser is the most-used app on your computer. Whether you log in to BearFacts, scream at your grades or stalk pictures of random people on Facebook (not that we’ve ever done that …) your browser will play a key role. But which one should you really use?

Let’s start off with content. In terms of features, Chrome and Firefox are essentially equivalent. Both have auto-login features, for example. Both come with private browsing modes that won’t leave a web history on your computer (no comment on why anybody would need this …). Luckily, both also have security features that will attempt to stop you from getting phished or hit with a virus (although you should still use anti-virus software). However, Chrome has a bit more flexibility than Firefox. While both support themes and add-ons such as AdBlock, Chrome has a full-on app store where you can check out apps for your … app. It’s like appception. But really, some of the apps on Chrome’s store are fantastic — Firefox users should be jealous (although some of the add-ons on Firefox do come pretty close to being full apps).

Google actually had to advertise Chrome early on. Weird.

Google actually had to advertise Chrome early on. Weird.

The most important thing about a browser is speed, though. You don’t want to stare at a loading bar for five hours — and luckily, you don’t have to anymore. Both of these browsers are blazingly fast. Like, so fast it really doesn’t matter which is faster. Chrome used to have a huge lead in this area, but then the boys and girls behind Firefox got their act together (that, or the guys at Google fell asleep). Both of these browsers are comparable in speed, so nobody really has an edge here.

There are some closing remarks to be made for both sides as well. Chrome has a neat feature where you can sign into the browser and have your websites show up on your phone. We don’t know why anybody would want that, but we suppose it’s nice. Also, Firefox just looks better in our opinion. Chrome has a really compact interface, but instead of feeling elegant and minimalistic, it just feels cramped. Firefox spaces things out and gives you more room to breathe.

Remember: no matter which browser you use, seeing the Fail Whale will still annoy you. Stupid Twitter.

Remember: No matter which browser you use, seeing the Fail Whale will still annoy you. Stupid Twitter.

All in all, the one thing you should take from this is that both browsers are very close in terms of features and speed. They’re both excellent — so excellent that you should try both before deciding on one. We’re giving the win to Chrome for its slightly more fleshed-out apps, but you really should try both before you settle. It’s like picking between an Audi and a Lexus — what do you have to lose?

Winner: Chrome (barely!)

Image sources: aretadobem Todd Barnard and fsse8info under Creative Commons

Contact Sherdil Niyaz at [email protected]