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In the Chrome vs. Firefox war Browser Wars: Firefox vs. Chrome vs. Opera, The Definitive Benchmark Browser Wars: Firefox vs. Chrome vs. Opera, The Definitive Benchmark If you could only choose one browser, which one would it be? Which is best: Firefox, Chrome or Opera? We'll show you. Read More , I’m siding with the Google users. But I don’t want to. Chrome isn’t my browser of choice because it’s necessarily the best; it’s because it has certain features that I can’t live without.

Chrome Is Fast, So Is Firefox, So Is Everything Else

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Until last year, I used to switch between Chrome and Firefox every few months. Every time I switched, I found that the other browser was faster. But this joy lasted only for a short while.

I’m not sure about the technical reason why browsers slow down with repeated usage How To Keep Firefox From Getting Unbearably Slow How To Keep Firefox From Getting Unbearably Slow I don’t like Firefox. I think it is a monolithic, huge, heavy browser, and its XPI-based architecture feels slow and dated. Firefox is more flexible than other browsers like Chrome but it also gradually slows... Read More . But it’s not just extensions; I’ve had 15 extensions in Firefox, found it slow and switched to Chrome, then came back to the same Firefox with 15 extensions and found it faster. And that’s happened with a Chrome-Firefox-Chrome switch too.

The bottom line is this: When you switch to a new browser, it seems faster for a while and then it slows down with usage. You can almost count that as the norm now.

I don’t want to switch away from Chrome to Firefox because it’s faster, I want to switch away because Firefox is more customisable and it’s really easy to switch from Firefox to Chrome Switching From Chrome: How to Make Firefox Feel Like Home Switching From Chrome: How to Make Firefox Feel Like Home So, you have decided that Firefox is the better browser for you. Is there anything you can do to make Firefox less of a foreign environment? Yes! Read More . For example, I usually have at least 10 tabs open, often upwards of 30. In Chrome, those become tiny and unrecognisable. But on Firefox, I can get tabs on multiple lines and solve all my worries. Also, some of the new features in Firefox 35 are really cool Meet Firefox Hello Video Chat & Firefox Marketplace In The New Firefox 35 Meet Firefox Hello Video Chat & Firefox Marketplace In The New Firefox 35 Firefox 35 introduces a cross-platform video chat service called Firefox Hello, lets users beta-test the new Firefox Marketplace, and also bakes in social sharing on the web. Read More , like built-in video calling.

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Most of my computing happens in a browser, so getting to customise each aspect of the browser is important for me. But not important enough to overlook some things that are only available on Chrome.

The App That Traps Me In Chrome: WhatsApp Web

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Recently, after years of users demanding it, instant messaging app WhatsApp finally released a web version WhatsApp Web: Everything You Need To Know WhatsApp Web: Everything You Need To Know Along with supporting all mobile platforms, WhatsApp has now launched a web-based client, so you can finally use WhatsApp on your PC and sync with your phone. Read More . It’s brilliant, it just works, and it’s available only on Chrome or Chromium-based browsers.

While there are some slick alternatives to WhatsApp 4 Slick WhatsApp Alternatives that Guard Your Privacy 4 Slick WhatsApp Alternatives that Guard Your Privacy Facebook bought WhatsApp. Now that we're over the shock of that news, are you worried about your data privacy? Read More , it is a big part of my life. It’s the default chat app for my family, my friends, and several colleagues too. In India, a large population of smartphone users will simply send you a text on WhatsApp instead of SMS (since data charges are cheaper than the pay-per-text tariff plans in India).

The developers claim that the notification system of Chrome is superior to all other browsers and that’s integral to the WhatsApp experience. I’m not sure if that’s really the reason, but no matter what, it’s only on Chrome and so I’m sticking with it.

Update: WhatsApp is now also available on Firefox and Safari. Go check them out!

The Extension That Traps Me In Chrome: Chromecast

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More than any other reason, what makes me stay in Google Chrome is its compatibility with Chromecast. Chromecast is a fantastic device Google Chromecast Review and Giveaway Google Chromecast Review and Giveaway We're giving away a Google Chromecast, so read through our review, then join the competition to win! Read More , only made better once you install the Google Cast for Chrome extension to cast images from your computer to your TV.

Not only does this make it easy to play Chromecast-compatible apps like YouTube or Plex, but the real benefit comes with casting a tab. So if you have Tweetdeck open in a tab, or even a video stream that doesn’t support Chromecast natively like ESPN, you can cast the full tab to your TV. It’s a seamless experience and works flawlessly.

Finally, you can even mirror your entire screen, not just the tab, serving the same purpose as a second monitor. It’s the easy way to make presentations 8 Creative Uses for Google's Chromecast 8 Creative Uses for Google's Chromecast We've come up with 8 unique uses for Google's Chromecast. Read on to find out just how you can make even more use of your Chromecast. Read More , among other things, and all without any wires.

The Feature That Traps Me In Chrome: Mute Tabs

This is one Chrome feature that Firefox can’t duplicate, and it’s a game-changer for me. I’m someone who always has at least 10 tabs open, if not more. And I’ll rapidly open links in new tabs while browsing. Without fail, some tab will start playing a video or some audio that is annoying and distracting.

In Chrome, I can see which tab is playing audio and quickly mute that tab specifically. In Firefox, not only is there no way to see which tab that is, but also no way to mute just that tab. The closest you can come is blocking sound on annoying Flash-based ads How To Mute Sound On Webpages With Embedded Audio Or Flash How To Mute Sound On Webpages With Embedded Audio Or Flash It happens to all of us. We love using browser tabs to open more and more links in the background and then go through them one by one. However it is really irritating when some... Read More .

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By default, you can see the tab that is playing audio, but to get the ability to mute it, you need to enable it from the dev channel. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Copy and paste this into your Chrome’s URL bar and tap Enter: chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting
  2. Click “Enable” under “Enable tab audio muting UI control”
  3. Relaunch Chrome (i.e. shut it down and start it again, or click the Relaunch button that pops up at the bottom of the screen once you click Enable in step two)

Now you can click on the audio icon on any tab to mute it! There’s also an extension called MuteTab MuteTab: Lets You Easily Mute Annoying Ads [Chrome] MuteTab: Lets You Easily Mute Annoying Ads [Chrome] Read More , but the above method is far better.

Soon, you won’t know how you use a browser without it. It’s like missing jump lists when you switch away from Windows. It becomes such an integral part of your way of doing things that you take it for granted; and sorely miss it when it’s not available.

Are You Stuck In A Browser Or OS?

I’m sure I’m not the only one here who is using a browser they don’t want to. I know several people who even use an OS they don’t want to. It might be because of work requirements, it might be because of budget, or any other reason. Why are you stuck with technology you don’t want to use?

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