Opinion: it is time to switch from Chrome to another browser
Google Chrome is the dominating desktop browser and a strong browser on mobile as well. Google, being an advertising company first and foremost, gets a ton of data from browser use. What weights more is that the company is also in a strong position regarding the introduction of new web technologies. Some of the proposed changes may favor Google's advertising business more than it is improving Internet use for users.
The introduction of Manifest V3 is just one example of that. With Google's stronghold on Chromium development, all Chromium-based browsers face a tough decision: either follow Google's lead and drop support for Manifest V2, or invest resources in keeping Manifest V2 supported. Manifest V3 changes core APIs that extensions have used for a long time. Especially privacy improving and content blocking extensions are impacted by this, and some have suggested that the change is a deliberate move by Google to strengthen its advertising business.
Only some browser makers have the resources to do something about it. Microsoft with its Edge browser is an example, but it seems that Microsoft Edge will support Manifest V3 only going forward. There are plenty of Chromium-based browsers that offer more than Chrome. Vivaldi offers plenty of integrated customizations and a mail client, Brave has a good content blocker and a different business model than many other browser makers, and Opera maintains a browser focused on gaming.
As far as non-Chromium browsers are concerned, there is Firefox, which relies on its own codebase, and Safari, which is maintained by Apple. Firefox will continue to support Manifest V2 but also Manifest V3; this means, that Manifest V2 extensions continue to be supported for the foreseeable future.
Most Ghacks regulars do not use Chrome as their main browser. Some may use it for web development or the rare site that only works in Chrome, but the majority uses a different browser. It is no coincidence that the majority of Ghacks visitors are the go-to people when it comes to tech-related questions.
In the past, many may have suggested to install Chrome instead of Internet Explorer or the first version of Edge. Some may have installed other browsers such as Firefox right away. Now, it is a good time to get less-savvy computer users to use a different browser.
Whether that is going to be Firefox or another Chromium-based browser depends on personal requirements. Chromium-based browsers may offer better web compatibility in some cases, while Firefox is less dependent on Chromium as a whole and will likely maintain better add-on support going forward.
Why it is time to move away from Chrome
- Chrome is one of Google's most powerful data gathering tools.
- Chrome's dominance gives Google a lot of weight when it comes to establishing new web standards. Being an advertising company, Google's interest is not always aligned with the interests of its users.
- The move to Manifest V3 makes it more difficult to run content blockers and privacy extensions in Chrome. While some users may not notice a difference, users who use multiple extensions or add custom filter lists may run into artificial limitations set by Google.
Here are some browser suggestions
- Firefox -- not-based on Chromium. continues to support Manifest V2 and will support Manifest V3, includes better privacy controls and options than Chrome.
- Vivaldi -- based on Chromium. Comes with a content blocker, lots of customization options, a built-in Mail client and more. Announced that it won't follow Google's strict reliance on Manifest V3.
- Brave -- based on Chromium. Has a good content blocker and privacy protections. Brave will attempt to keep supporting Manifest V2, but may drop it if the cost is too high.
All three browsers and companies are not perfect, and they may be criticized for certain things. Mozilla, maker of Firefox, makes strong political statements from time to time, and a few sites may not work properly in Firefox because of Chrome's dominance. Brave is financed by cryptocurrencies for the most part, and Vivaldi may be too feature-rich for some.
All in all though, these browsers are better options for the vast majority of Internet users.
Now You: which web browsers do you use and suggest that others use?Advertisement