Google says the latest Chrome on Mac outperforms Safari

The Android browser is faster than before, too.

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Jon Fingas
March 7, 2022 5:00 PM
ANKARA, TURKEY - FEBRUARY 22: In this photo illustration a computer phone screen displays the NFC logo in Ankara, Turkey on February 22, 2020. Halil Sagirkaya / Anadolu Agency
Halil Sagirkaya / Anadolu Agency

Google is determined to claim the browser performance crown, and not just on its own platform. The company claims Chrome 99 is significantly faster on macOS and Android, with some particularly large gains on Macs. Thanks to a speed-focused "build optimization technique" and refined graphics processing, Chrome is reportedly 7 percent faster overall than Safari, with 15 percent faster graphics — it even outperforms Safari in Apple's own Speedometer benchmark on an M1 Max-equipped MacBook Pro, according to Google.

The internet pioneer added that Chrome is nearly 43 percent faster than it was when the first M1 Macs arrived in late 2020. One of the largest improvements came in late 2021, when Google introduced a new JavaScript compiler that offered particularly strong benefits for Apple Silicon.

Android users should see a meaningful upgrade, too. Chrome on Google's mobile OS is 15 percent faster (in aggregated real-world data) thanks to optimized navigation that includes prioritizing "critical" interface moments. Performance isn't directly comparable between this and Safari on iOS, of course, but it could still make a noticeable difference if you thrive on the mobile web.

The claimed speed-ups won't always translate to your own experience. We also wouldn't be surprised if Apple has a response before too long. There's a historical back-and-forth as Apple and Google tweak their browser code to beat each other and win users. In that sense, the Chrome speed boost might be useful simply to spur competition.

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