Whenever a new web browser is launched to the market, there’s always a marketing strategy aimed to label it the best in the market. Mozilla did the same, when launching Firefox Quantum back in November 2017. This was an attempt to recapture a portion of the market base that they had lost to Chrome. Since it was launched back in 2008, Chrome has always been the go-to browser for much of the web.
Even though native to Windows and macOS platforms, both Microsoft Edge and Apple Safari are not strong enough to attract users on desktops. On the absence of solid browser for Windows and Mac, users have only two choices – Firefox and Chrome. Let us now have a look at how these browser giants compete against each other, both in appearance and functions.
Firefox Quantum Vs Google Chrome
Firefox Quantum or as it is known, the version 57 of Firefox was launched in 2017 as a competition to Google’s Chrome which has been dominating the web since it was launched. Google Chrome has been a dominant presence in terms of web browsers since it was launched some 10 years ago. The browser has always been appealing to most users who enjoy its uncomplicated layout, performance and speed.
Mozilla is a non-profit organization and Google’s main purpose is to make more revenue. This will reflect on their products and marketing strategies. Firefox will brand itself as a browser for privacy while Chrome markets itself as a safe and secure browser on the web. Keeping this aspect let us compare the features.
1. Page Loading Time
Mozilla claims that Firefox Quantum is two times faster than previous versions and also faster than Chrome. This is because of the new architecture Mozilla uses on Quantum release paired with the new multiprocessing technology. The browser is built to withstand multi-tasking on different tabs and has less hang time than its previous versions.
According to a number of tests conducted on numerous browsing sites, Google Chrome still edges all its competitors when it comes to speed. The only time you can see Chrome being beaten in speed by its competitor is when you open up to too many tabs per session, which most users almost never do. Even at that, the small distance of which the competitor beats Chrome with, most users will still prefer to remain with Chrome.
Winner – Google Chrome
We have tested the page loading speed on Firefox and Chrome with the same website and internet connection in different scenarios. The scenarios include, first time with all cache and cookies cleared, after certain point of time with browser’s cache. Clearly the winner is Google Chrome and Firefox struck at not completely loading the page many times.
Mozilla also claims that Quantum has 30 percent less memory usage than Chrome. But with few tabs open on both browsers what we see is that Firefox uses more memory (or similar) compared to Chrome. We don’t find any big difference in RAM usage.
2. User Experience
Generally, people want browsers that look great in design and navigations. Mozilla has put a great amount of effort with the new Photon design to make sure that the browser is appealing to the eyes. With its modern and sleeker look, Firefox Quantum will easily catch the eyes than the older version of Chrome.
Chrome recently updated Google Chrome to version 69 with Material Design concept. After ten solid years in the market, Chrome was due to an upgrade in terms of design and the new version does not disappoint. With its new rounded tabs that are easy to glance upon, you would not have expected better, especially for the modern users. The tabs are meant especially for those who enjoy having many tabs running at once on their browser. Apart from the new tabs, the browser also comes with updated icons and a completely new user interface. The big overhaul from Chrome is well timed and will be hugely embraced by the users.
Winner – Firefox Quantum
Firefox Quantum has far-reaching security features that its predecessors did not have. For example, you can actively block ads, analytic trackers and pop-ups. With there being a number of social media that record user’s behavior without their consent, Firefox Quantum allows you to block the share buttons for social media. Simply put, your browsing behavior will not be taken unless with your consent. Mozilla believes that Firefox Quantum will be held to high esteem by users, especially because of the privacy measures it provides to users.
Privacy is always a concern when using Google’s products. As mentioned, Google’s primary revenue comes from advertising, especially by serving interested based ads from the browsing behavior of users. Otherwise, Chrome also has all features like incognito mode, ad blocking and popup blocking.
Winner – Equal
Privacy is one of the primary marketing point for Mozilla. Surprisingly, Firefox Quantum uses Google as default search engine. in Windows version, Google search box will float on the top even you scroll the new tab page. This makes it clear that Mozilla also needs Google Search Engine for better user experience. In addition, the privacy becomes question as Google can easily track the activities from the search queries regardless of browser’s protection.
4. Developer Tools
Firefox Quantum and Google Chrome both offer similar developer tools option like Safari and Edge. You can inspect any element, check the HTML and CSS styles, test responsiveness on various devices and monitor loading time. You can also disable cache, apply throttling to test various conditions. You can also try with the developer and nightly bleed versions for knowing the features in advance.
In addition, Google Chrome offers an auditing option to conduct complete performance and SEO audit of a website using Chrome Lighthouse extension. Google also recommends developers to improve website performance based on the Chrome user experience report.
Winner – Google Chrome
The reason is obvious, every site owner and SEO agencies target to improve the performance of the site to get good results on Google search. Hence, they tend to follow the guidelines from Google and use the tools offered by Google.
Both browsers offer enhancements through extensions and themes. While Firefox offers Add-ons store, Chrome allows installing extensions through Chrome Web Store. It is also easy to migrate bookmarks from one browser to other.
You can add content to Pocket from Firefox. The Firefox account is mainly required for synchronizing across devices. On other hand, Chrome seamlessly integrates with Gmail and it is easy to use single sign on for all Google’s products.
Winner – Google Chrome
Integration with other apps is an important factor if you need to use many Google products like Analytics, Search Console, Google Ads, etc. on daily basis.
6. Other Key Features
Seemingly not wanting to be left behind, Firefox Quantum has new features like the built-in QR code. It also has the ability to synchronize as well as send web pages across all your devices. These features were not on the previous versions and Mozilla felt like adding them on will help them close the gap that has been there for a while. Also, the additions of inverting colors with night mode, Mozilla feels like they will tilt the balance scale, as these are features not found on their competitors. The new Quantum version also is able to capture an entire web page when taking screenshots.
There are many advantages that Chrome has over its competitors in terms of the features it has. With privacy and anti-tracking settings, Chrome offers the users a safe browsing experience. With Chrome, you can also permanently mute video ads and translate content using Google translate. Users of the Google Chrome also enjoy the incognito feature, which automatically deletes cookies other than auto blocking the ads.
Winner – Equal
Web browsers are often differentiated by design and performance. By the look of things, not many people are actually going to change browsers. Chrome and the new Firefox Quantum do not differ much in look and feel, and most will feel no reason to move from the one they are currently using. But Chrome definitely has an edge over Firefox in terms of easy integration, low page loading speed and marketing from Google. This can be seen with the market share of the browsers that 65 percent of people uses Chrome while only 12 percent uses Firefox.