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Google says Chrome on macOS is now faster than Safari

Version 100 of Google Chrome will launch within the next few weeks, but even after all of this time, there’s still some room for speeding up the browser. As Google announced today, version 99 of Chrome on macOS manages to score 300 points on the Speedometer benchmark, which was originally developed by Apple’s WebKit team. This, Google points out, is the fastest performance of any browser yet.

Speedometer 2.0 tests for responsiveness, which makes it a good proxy for user experience. It’s been a while since competition in the browser market focused on speed, especially now that most vendors bet on the same Chromium codebase to build their browsers (with the exception of Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s WebKit-based Safari). But that doesn’t mean that the various development teams stopped thinking about how to speed up the user experience. As with a lot of mature technologies, we’re just not seeing major breakthroughs these days. That doesn’t mean the rivalry between the different vendors has stopped, even as they are now getting together as part of Interop 2022 to better align their browsers with web standards.



When a new chip comes along, though, there’s always room for optimization. Originally, Chrome on Apple’s M1 chips had passable performance, but 15 months after the launch of these Arm-based chips, Chrome now runs 43% faster on them, Google also noted today, and also stressed that its browser’s graphics performance now beats Safari’s by 15%, thanks to a couple of new techniques in this area, too. That’s on top of a number of general JavaScript optimizations Google already announced last year.

While there’s no news for Windows users today, Google did note that Chrome on Android will also see some improvements. Loading a page should now be 15% faster, the company says, thanks to some navigation optimizations that prioritize “critical navigation moments on the browser user interface thread.”

Are you going to notice any of this? A modern browser on a fast connection renders virtually any page within the blink of an eye. But it doesn’t take much to make software feel more responsive, so the 43% on M1 Macs will surely make you feel more productive as you browse TikTok (or manage your Jira tickets — whatever works for you).

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