With all the attention Chrome is getting, you might forget that other alternative browsers are also available. Judging from the interest that my post on running Chrome on an Apple’s MacOS X has generated, there are a lot of people looking for a faster browser on a Mac. 

There is of cource Opera, which is pretty fast, and has recently released a 9.6 beta version that is even faster; but in my experience, it takes some time to get used to the slightly different way it handles some basic tasks. 

If you want to stay on familiar territory, but still need the best performance you can get, have a look at Webkit. It has an improved javascript engine called Squirrelfish that is about 1.5 times faster than the already snappy engine currently in Safari, and updated builds are available daily. 

One of the major annoyances I’ve had with Webkit is that it doesn’t prompt you to be the default browser, which means that I’ve been spending months with two nearly identical browsers running, distinguished only by the color of their icons. I did my normal browsing from Webkit, but once I clicked on a link in my mail program Safari opened as well… So if you’re stuck in the same situation: it’s actually quite simple to change. Open either Safari or Webkit and go to the Preferences panel:

If you’re interested in direct comparisons of Chrome, Opera and Webkit have a look at the work done by Wayne Pan and John Resig!