Could Google Chrome be on its way out? Browser info that will wow you
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Could Google Chrome be on its way out? Browser info that will wow you

Could Google Chrome be on its way out? Browser info that will wow you

I personally can’t see myself letting go of Google Chrome, but that doesn’t mean others aren’t, and for good reasons

  • If your device is powered by a battery, then you're best using the stock browser instead of Chrome
  • There are concerns about the future of Firefox
  • Brave, founded by former Mozilla executive Brendan Eich, is taking on Google’s search business

I personally can’t see myself letting go of Google Chrome, but that doesn’t mean others aren’t, and for good reasons.

Chrome browser issues

ZDNet believes Google Chrome is the most-used browser on the internet.

Chrome has almost 70% of the browser market and its search engine has a 92% share.  

 But has Chrome become a sluggish incumbent?

“We created a monster,” the site said. 

Power usage

If your device is powered by a battery, then you're best using the stock browser instead of Chrome, according to the ZDNet piece tech writer.

On Windows, that is Edge, and on Mac and iOS that's Safari. 

“Both have been highly tuned to the platform they are running on and offer the best battery life and thermal performance possible,” the writer said.

He said that when he switched from Chrome to Safari on MacBook Pro, he was getting over an hour of extra battery life, and switching to Safari on the iPhone also got him significantly better battery life. 

Also, after using Edge and Safari on their respective platforms for a few weeks and comparing one of the great "selling" points of Google Chrome, that is getting a streamlined, consistent experience across all the platforms used he found how “clunky” that Google experience actually was, compared to the stock browser. 

Google Chrome was the writer’s winning choice for best performance on Android.

Firefox anyone?

Firefox is a very competent browser. Performance-wise, it's up there with the rest, including some solid security and privacy features. Weaker on battery usage for laptops and mobile devices, but not the worst. 

It's also a solid browser on mobile, especially Android.

But there are also concerns about the future of Firefox.

Market share continues to plummet, the Mozilla Foundation continues to shed workforce, and the company is highly dependent on a lucrative search deal with Google, which has historically accounted for between 75% and 95% of the organization's entire yearly budget since 2006 when the deal was struck.

Read: Google is testing a new feature that aggregates TikTok and Instagram short videos

Read: Move over Google: UAE’s search engine meekd.com is here

Google Challengers

But Google’s dominance is being challenged. Regulators are questioning its monopoly position and claim the company has used anticompetitive tactics to strengthen its dominance. 

At the same time, a new wave of Google rivals hopes to capitalize on the greater public desire for online privacy.

Two years after publicly launching a privacy-focused browser, Brave, founded by former Mozilla executive Brendan Eich, is taking on Google’s search business too. The announcement of Brave Search puts the upstart in the rare position of taking on both Google’s browser and search dominance.

Eich says that Brave Search, which has opened a waitlist and will launch in the first half of this year, won’t track or profile people who use it. “Brave already has a default anonymous user model with no data collection at all,” he says adding this will continue in its search engine. No IP addresses will be collected and the company is exploring how it can create both a paid, ad-free search engine and one that comes with ads.

But Google’s search algorithms have spent decades crawling the web, building up an index of hundreds of billions of sites and ranking them in search results.

The depth of Google’s indexing has helped secure its market-leading position. 

Globally, its nearest rival is Microsoft’s Bing, which has just 2.7 percent of the market.  

Eich says Brave isn’t starting its search engine or index from scratch and won’t be using indexes from Bing or other tech firms. Instead, Brave has purchased Tailcat, an offshoot of German search engine Cliqz.

Eich did say that some users will be given the ability to opt-in to anonymous data collection to help fine-tune search results.

“What Tailcat does is it looks at a query log and a click log anonymously,” Eich says. “These allow it to build an index, which Tailcat has done and already did at Cliqz, and it's getting bigger.” He admits that the index will not be anywhere near as deep as Google’s but that the top results it surfaces are largely the same.

“It's the web that the users care about,” says Eich. “You don't have to crawl the entire web in quasi-real-time as Google does.”

The Brave Search team is also working on filters, called Goggles, that will allow people to create a series of sources where search results are pulled from. People could, for example, use filters to only show product reviews that don’t contain affiliate links. A filter could also be set to only display results from independent media outlets.

And Google might soon have even more competition. There have been unconfirmed reports that Apple is building its own search engine, although this could see it lose billions of dollars that Google pays it to be the default search choice on its Safari browser. Further competition comes from Neeva, built by former Google engineers who plan to use a search subscription model; You.com, which is in an early testing phase; and British startup Mojeek, which has crawled more than three billion webpages using its own crawler tech.

Brave has one advantage when it comes to people who might use Brave Search: its web browser. The company says the browser, which launched in 2019, already has 25 million monthly active users. 

Browsing into your bank accounts

Here’s a scary thought. 

Whenever you sign in to your bank account, your browser extensions watch. They can see your account balances, your transactions, and your online banking password. They see everything in your browser: passwords, credit card numbers, private messages, and the websites you visit.

Pay attention to the message you see when installing a browser extension in Chrome. 

For most browser extensions, you’ll see a message stating that the add-on can “Read and change all your data on the websites you visit.”

This means that the browser extension has full access to all the web pages you visit.  

If the extension is malicious, it could gather all that private data of yours, from web browsing activity and the emails you type to your passwords and financial information and send it to a remote server on the internet.

In Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, you can control an extension’s “site access” permissions.

Author
Hadi Khatib

Hadi Khatib is a business editor with more than 15 years' experience delivering news and copy of relevance to a wide range of audiences. If newsworthy and actionable, you will find this editor interested in hearing about your sector developments and writing about it. [email protected]

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