Dallying with Other Browsers

Other than simply “being able to browse the web,” I have four specific things I need in my web browser of choice:

  • Available for both my MacBook Air and my iPhone (and syncs bookmarks and browsing history between the two).
  • Supports 1Password for password management.
  • Supports Kagi as the default search engine.
  • Supports some method for ad blocking on both desktop and mobile.

I’ve been promiscuous over the years, switching between Firefox, Camino, Opera, Safari, Chrome, using each for long periods, and then getting frustrated.

I’ve been using Safari pretty-well full time for several years, but with my recent decamping to Kagi from Google, I decided to try Orion, the browser made by Kagi itself, with both native support for its own search and built-in tracking and ad-blocking.

Orion proved an estimable drop-in replacement for Safari, and it almost checked all four boxes; it fell down, however, with 1Password support. In theory Orion does support 1Password, and it’s easy to install, requiring only a small tweak in the 1Password settings to work properly. But 1Password stopped working enough times, in weird and wonderful “open tab after tab after tab filled with error messages” ways, always, of course, at inconvenient “I need to do my banking right now” times, that I abandoned it.

I took a brief detour to Firefox, for old times sake: it has versions for macOS and iOS, syncs between the two, supports 1Password, supports switching to Kagi for search, but, because it doesn’t support extensions on mobile, didn’t support ad blocking. I’ve become so inured to an ad-free mobile web that there was no way I could continue.

So I’m back to Safari: Mac and iPhone support, of course; excellent 1Password; kludgy-but-sufficient support for Kagi via an extension that rewrites built-in Google searches; great ad blocking via Ghostery (desktop) and AdGuard (mobile).