SAN JOSE, California — The browser wars are back.
Apple is gunning for Mac users who use Chrome over Apple’s built-in browser, Safari.
Apple spent some time on Monday talking about upcoming improvements to Safari for Mac, including an ad tracker blocker, stopping auto-play videos by default, and some major performance improvements.
It turns out, Apple is focusing on desktop Safari because it noticed a pop-up that Google displays on its homepage that claims that Chrome is “faster,” Federighi said during an on-stage interview with Daring Fireball’s John Gruber on Tuesday.
“I realized, when every time one opens their browser and goes to a particular search engine, that there’s an ad that says ‘Get a faster browser,'” Federighi said. “That eventually, it seeps in, and people stop … Marketing, where that’s coming from.”
“And so we thought we’d bring some knowledge,” Federighi continued, going on to praise the Safari and WebKit teams at Apple. “They build the fastest browser on the planet, and honestly, I’m getting sick of people not giving them their due.”
Google has displayed pop-ups in the past on Google.com that encourage users of other browsers to download Chrome. Here’s an example:
Of course, Apple also uses its platform to encourage Mac users to use Safari, too. But Google’s own self-promotional ads are hard to miss, and Google is the dominant search engine.
And apparently that got on one Apple executive’s nerves.
We’ll have to wait until the next version of Safari launches to test the two browsers side by side to figure out which tech giant is right, but having Google and Apple compete to make the web faster can only be good for consumers.
According to one estimate based on traffic to government websites, Safari is the top browser on Mac, but 36% of Mac users opt for Google’s browser over Apple’s.