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If you care about battery life, use Safari instead of Chrome

There have been numerous reports, including our own anecdotal ones, about how much better Safari is than Chrome when it comes to battery life on MacBooks. Here's another on, this time from Battery Box:

Averaging data from all websites tested, Safari won first place with 6 hours 21 minutes of total usage, Firefox second with 5 hours 29 minutes of usage, and Chrome last with 5 hours 8 minutes of usage.Basically, if you simply switch to using Safari instead of Chrome, on average you could get an extra 1 hour of usage from your battery life.

Not innovating anymore, WebKit's ass.

Via: The Loop

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

57 Comments
  • I have noticed a much bigger difference than this on a 2014 rMBP. I only use Chrome when I need to use flash as I don't want to install that crap in Safari. Very similar results on my Windows machine where IE/Edge or Firefox don't kill a battery like Chrome does. On Windows Chrome not only destroys the battery, but it will eat up any unused RAM.
  • If you need the benefits of Chrome but don't want to use it, use Opera instead. Nearly as fast, extensions, and not a battery and RAM hog. It also supports Flash. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Flash will still drain the battery though, that's the nature of Flash, even if not being ran from a web browser. Best to have some sort of "enable flash elements on click" option, if Opera supports that
  • That it does. That's how I use it. Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.
  • then you haven't used chrome recently. chrome 44 with flash disabling has improved battery on macbook.
    I use to get 6 hrs but now i get about 8 hrs with that change in chrome 44. but here is the thing. more changes are coming http://mashable.com/2015/06/15/google-chrome-battery-macs/ http://www.macrumors.com/2015/06/12/chrome-os-x-performance-improvements... once the second fixes comes in chrome 45 the battery saving will be even better
  • But when it takes 3 times as long for Safari to load over Chrome, aren't I wasting more battery than starting Chrome, executing a search, and then closing it; all before Safari loads?
  • Make sure you keep it from running in the background, that's an issue it has on all OS'S. It's no secret that Chrome drains battery, but considering it's the fastest browser for most things it's excusable. Last I checked Ferrari's don't get great gas mileage. Also, since when was having an hour more battery life innovation Rene? Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Its also just way better for user experience
  • battery life is nice, although I'm not sure I'd prioritize that over features and speed. Safari is simply a second class browsing experience., and that's where the lack of innovation comes from. It's ironic that is the author truly cared about user battery life, he'd instruct readers to never visit iMore with a web browser.
  • "We have an app" incoming. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Safari is too slow and outdated in look and feel. I love Firefox. Then chrome in second place. Sent from the iMore App
  • Outdated in look and feel? How so? Firefox still has the separated search bar which the other browsers obliterated ages ago. Safari 9 (On El Capitan) is a modern looking browser to me, especially with the pinned tabs now
  • Ah, I remember pinning tabs in Chrome back in 2012. Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.
  • Yeah I know, but it's not really missing much else though
  • You can remove searchbar and use url bar for searching too. It's called customizing. Sent from the iMore App
  • Hmm... if you think Safari is outdated in look and feel, yet you like Firefox? Does not compute :)
  • Exactly what I thought
  • I want to see how Microsoft Edge stacks up...I bet it's faster and uses less battery than safari...which means Rene will never mention it Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • But it won't run on Macs, so why should he mentioned in Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.
  • Actually if you look at the results of edge that are coming out in cases it actually uses more battery then chrome Sent from the iMore App
  • Considering Windows uses more battery than OSX (on a Mac at least), battery life would be a hard thing to test. It seems pretty fast though on my Mac using Boot Camp
  • I might consider switching to Safari if they made a comparable PC version and had all the cross-platform plugins I've come to rely on. Chrome makes this possible and the convenience is worth what I give up in battery life.
  • Chrome on PC runs good
  • Edge is better.
  • Kind of a difficult blanket-statement to make. Might be better for you. Many, like yourself, also consider Internet Explorer to be better. Whatever works best for you is 'better'... ;-)
  • No extensions though. Not yet. Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.
  • *Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ingredient List*
    -RoboForm
    -Google Dictionary
    -Google Voice
    -AdBlock
    -Disconnect
    -FaceBook Disconnect
    -Click&Clean
    -Google Cast
    -OneNote Clipper
    -Pin!
    -Plex
    -Empty New Tab Page
    -Netflix Enhancer (NEhancer) All quite useful, none I'd want to do without -- and they all auto-install for any new PC or Mac Chrome installation that I log into. Maybe a few years down the road that'll change, but for now, Edge is the new Internet Explorer -- the unused browser that's baked into the OS ;-)
  • Edge does not have extensions at this time.
  • I'll take Chrome speed. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Does this also affect chrome on the iOS? I use it on my iPhone 6 Plus and my 2012 MacBook Air. Sent from the iMore App
  • As far as I'm aware Chrome on iOS uses Safari's rendering engine (because iOS doesn't allow any others), so it probably won't make much of a difference, plus there's no Flash
  • Chrome started out as a great lean browser then, just like Firefox, grew into a resource hungry pig.
  • *Points at Opera* Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.
  • Do you work for them or something?
  • No, but if you want the benefits of Chrome without its RAM use and battery drain Opera does exactly that. Google knows why kids love the taste of cinnamon toast crunch. And they're willing to sell it to you.
  • You all can have, keep and gag on your Google stuff - speed or no speed. I disconnected from that personal invasion express several years ago and have not looked back. So yeah, speed is the point - not.
  • How does google invade your privacy any more then any website that uses cookies? On my website and my internal work intranet I can tell exactly what browser, MAC address, how long you stayed, what you were looking at, what OS you use, and since we document all the MAC addresses and who they correspond to I can literally tell you who you are. Sent from the iMore App
  • I can understand personal invasion being of importance but what I don't understand is, why are you posting here (and why with Safari)? Grab Firefox and Lightbeam, then come back here and see the pretty graph of your privacy going out to third party sites.
  • Only reason I use Chrome over Safari even though it's a total resources hog is the feature that allows to close all tabs on the right. Because of my workflow I can't live without this feature. Does anyone knows any reliable Safari add ons that would allow for this feature on Safari? Sent from the iMore App
  • ⌘+Option+w Close all tabs except active tab Is that what you're looking for? Sent from the iMore App
  • Nah. I know about that but, but besides that chrome has extra feature that allowes closing tabs to the right of a tab of your choice. So for example if I have 20 tabs open, which I need and then I open 20 more that I might not need in my work day, I can keep first 20 open and close the next 20 to the right. Safari does not offer this yet and I don't know why?
  • "Not innovating anymore, WebKit's ass." This website grows pettier and pettier each week. Maybe Phil from AC should run iMore too.
  • I agree phil is mostly neutral but rene seems to be a fanboy that most would try to avoid having on any website. unfortunately he runs imore
  • Seems like the Macbook users I know aren't aware (or don't care?) of this.
  • I'm happy with losing an hour of battery for Chrome Sent from the iMore App
  • This was a feature specifically called out as an improvement included with the release of OS X 10.10 Yosemite.
    One of Apple's primary approaches in improving the user experience is to do everything they can to extend battery life. For this reason, and others, I prefer to use Apple's own applications whenever possible.
  • Sooner or later tho, a Fonbwa will tell you how it doesn’t matter as you can charge it every night anyway. That’s the excuse they have for the driWatch.
  • Safari is pretty decent on the Mac and I love it. I have Chrome too, but I only use it as a Flash Jail. Sent from the iMore App
  • Me too. I only use two Browser and Safari is the one that, (without being able to qualify this), I trust.
  • I mostly use Firefox, Safari doesn't always understand https urls, but it's still a better browser than clumsy Chrome. Sent from the iMore App
  • IE is still the one if you need compatibility. Not necessarily because it’s better, (or not).
    Sometimes I have to use Parallels and IE to go on certain sites that cause Safari et al to choke.
  • Very true - chrome uses more resources than safari if you track the same.
  • In spite of the better battery life as purported in this article. I prefer Firefox over Safari as it is less likely to bring about spamware. If anyone has any idea on how I can get rid of spamware on Safare I'm all ears. Thanks!
  • This was always obvious to me because Chrome forces the discrete GPU to fire up, while Safari runs off the on-board graphics.
  • Layout, functionality, password saving, search query saving. All worth it to me. Those things take up time because Safari doesn't save passwords near as well as Chrome. I'd rather take the battery hit honestly
  • Chrome is an awful browser. What better to use than the native option - Safari? It's so awesomely integrated into the OS, with push notifications, Keychain Access and so much more. There is no benefit to dropping Safari for Chrome.
  • Lemme get this straight. Whether or not Chrome is awful is a matter of perspective, (I don’t use it).
    Bearing in mind there are people above you that have pointed out some of the reasons they prefer Chrome. You still post that tripe at the end, ‘There is no benefit to dropping Safari for Chrome.’. You should have added the words FOR ME at the end of your last sentence.