Browser Survey Results

22 Aug 2005

OK, the results are in – this was a hard one to count, but I reckon I got them fairly accurate. The numbers won’t tally exactly with the number of comments – just to pre-warn any lurking pedants. Thanks to everyone who took part – it was a tremendous response.

(apologies for the fuzzy crapness of this image, but I really can’t be arsed doing it again)

The Results:

Safari 157
Firefox 53
Camino 28
Omniweb 5
Shiira 3
IE 1
Opera 1
iCab 0

Number of people who didn’t read the rules first: 25 ;o)

No surprise there I guess, Safari is king. I remember seeing another survey that showed Firefox much more on a par with Safari, but that certainly wasn’t the case here. Most people preferred it for speed, UI and OS X integration. Firefox’s popularity seems mainly due to the web developer toolbar, which lets face it, is a genius piece of work. There were a large number of Safari users who were put off Firefox as default due to its interface and lack of mac-ness.

Pretty much all those on Camino stated they were using the bleeding-edge nightly builds, which I’m not surprised at. They’re solid, stable and go like the clappers. Mozilla power, Mac Style indeed.

I’m not too surprised at Omniweb’s lack of votes, but I did hope for a lot more. Sluggishness seems to be the main issue for people not using it. Glad to hear no moans about having to pay for it though, as I did expect some “why pay when there are free browsers?” comments.

Opera and IE languish at the bottom with one vote each. I’m not assuming the IE vote was a joke, as IE Mac does have some nice features, so you never know.

Receiving no votes was poor old iCab. I expected at least one person using iCab 3 beta to come forward, but it appears not. Has Safari trampled all over iCab’s possible market?

Also, no one seemed to pick up on that fact that someone used Firefox for its ‘live boobmarks’ – maybe it was just me that found that funny?

and now.. my vote

What about me? Browser hopping as usual. I would love to say Omniweb as my default, but there are some niggles that stop that – performance, not yet updated to the latest rendering engine, doesn’t work well with Flickr, various unpolished areas of the UI and lack of find as you type. Maybe a future release will see improvements, but to be honest, I’ve not got any great hopes. Omnigroup – please surprise me!

I guess Safari would be my default, but lately I’ve been using Camino nightly builds, and found myself falling in love with my old favourite all over again. The UI is clean and looking good, and while it lacks some features I’d love (mainly RSS detection to pass URLs into NewsFire and ability to restore tabs at startup) I’m finding myself using it anyway. Its so nice to be using a fast, responsive browser again, especially after Safari overloaded with plugins. I guess its the downfall of installing plugins, but its either Safari with a features and a slightly unresponsive interface, or no Safari at all for me. Page rendering speed is fast, but simple tasks such as clicking a bookmark bar folder can sometimes take seconds to appear. Infuriating.

Shiira, while impressing with useful innovative features like tab expose, goes and adds things like the cheesy ‘page transition effect’. I’m not sure that the direction for Shiira is quite clear, but its still one to keep an eye on.

Opera is impressive, and I like the idea of combing email & browser. There’s a lot of features in there, but it looks like a dogs dinner, has strange key combos (cmd-T for adding bookmarks? Whats that all about?!) and calls tabs pages. Joe Clark has a more eloquent list of its failings – but if you’re using it and like it, good for you. I can kinds see why you’re attracted.

Firefox (Deer Park) is better, but its still no Mac app bless it.

So, while it should be a Safari/Omniweb split, I’m going to vote Camino here, especially as its an underdog in the ratings, and I think it deserves more!

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