Just a bit of a background: This is being written in the context of having heard rumours that Apple has big changes for iOS and macOS, particularly around improvements to Webkit (link) because the current situation with webkit results in a browser that is ‘functional’ but really lacking in terms of standards compliance and extension ecosystem when compared to Chrome. Yes, Chrome has its own set of issues such as not being as light weight on system resources as Safari but that being said, like anything in life, it is about weighing up what you want and whether you’re willing to trade something for it – are you happy to give up battery life but the upswing being a more feature rich browsing experience with a vibrant third party ecosystem when it comes to extensions – something that is sorely missing with Safari thanks to the change in the content block API (along with other changes) where developers were happy to support Safari because there wasn’t much work required to support it but now obstacles have gotten in the way there are developers not interested in supporting Safari – uBlock Origin being the most prominent example of that.
It reminds me of the argument that many had for sticking with Firefox for many years – the vibrant ecosystem and it appears that for all of Chrome’s fault the ability to have uBlocker Origin is pretty important especially when navigating the net these days given the rise in obnoxious advertisements.
Getting back to the issue, Chrome is rocking along quite nicely with the version I have installed, 72.0.3626.119, along with the uBlock Origin extension. It’ll be interesting to see what will happen with the release of 10.14.4 along with the upcoming WWDC that’ll occur in June. Although Apple to a certain extent is attempt to fight off the rise of Progressive Web Apps (PWA) because of its business model based around the app store but that being said as more applications start to use web based technologies (such as Spotify) the need to deliver web technologies which power the Electron framework – the more efficient Webkit is the better the Electron experience will be. At the moment Electron applications rely on bundling up Chromium but hopefully we’ll see the work being done on Webkit will result in something that’ll allow developers to shed bundling Chromium, particularly on macOS, to allow smaller more efficient downloads. Skype for example is an Electron based application that makes use of Chromium to power it so hopefully if this new ‘super charged’ Webkit makes an appearance it should mean a smoother experience on macOS as well as iOS.