This past weekend, I did something I’ve not done in quite a while on my Mac — switch to using Safari 15.1 as my primary browser. For the last year or so I’ve used Vivaldi, which is Chromium-based but with a focus on customisation and flexibility, alongside better privacy protection. Before that I was using Firefox, but I’ve become uneasy about how Mozilla conduct themselves these days as well as their reliance on Google to keep the lights on.
Prior to this experiment, I’d only been using Safari occasionally for a few things, usually where it required logging into my Google account. I was aware of the hubbub over the changes to tabs in Safari 15, and I was interested to see what impact it would have on my browsing experience.
Thus far, I’ve not really had any issues with Safari. Initially I had the compact tabs system turned off, but after a day or so I turned it on to see what the difference was, and honestly it doesn’t bother me at all. Admittedly, I don’t tend to have many tabs open at once, as I’ll usually capture stuff I want to read later into DEVONthink.
One thing I do miss from Vivaldi is the ability to increase the size of the user interface. Web panels were also handy, and I wish that Safari’s sideboard included downloads and browsing history.
It will be interesting to see if there are any places where I notice degraded experience due to reliance on Chromium-only features, but for now everything seems to work just fine. I still have Vivaldi installed for comparison purposes.