After years of being a dedicated browser user I decided I needed to check out the competition. With the release of OS X Yosemite by Apple I decided to give Safari a shot. According to the press it is faster than the competitors and since I use an iPhone the integration with the forced default browser there would be better.
I set up Safari and transferred my bookmarks over from Chrome. As with any change the new look and feel took some getting used to but I got the hang of it in a couple of days. Honestly the features and function of Safari exactly matched that of Chrome. Safari did just exactly what you'd expect. Speed? Hard to say. I don't have the technology available to me to measure so I'll leave that to the experts. I'll just say it felt fine. I noticed no significant difference over what I was used to.
After a few weeks I started to feel like I was missing something though. I realized that Chrome's richer interface in the tabs and navigation controls was a huge asset. Safari was flat and lacked contrast. At times I actually had to think about and look for the buttons or tabs I wanted to interact with in Safari. That of course slowed down my browsing experience. Safari did take up less vertical real estate with the navigation and tabs area than did Chrome which is always a plus!
In the plugins and extensions category the two browsers were mostly on par. Some of the Google plugins like (c'mon Google) didn't exist for Chrome. Others like and were present and worked just the same. I would imagine there are Apple centric plugins for Safari that are not available for Chrome. That is the way the game is played I guess.
One Chrome app that I use fairly frequently, Remote Desktop, was not available in Safari. This forced me to open Chrome periodically to use it. That's a pain.
In the end I switched back to Google Chrome. For how I use a browser Chrome seems to fit more appropriately. The deciding factor really wasn't a lack or failure of a feature it was simply look and feel. Chrome visually appealed to me while Safari was a bit flat. The flatness lead to some inefficiency in my interface with the browser. Add in the plugins/apps that I like and the decision was easy.