Why I ditched Chrome for Sidekick

It's been a year since I switched from Chrome to Sidekick. The aesthetics and user experience is the best I've seen and it's everything you could ask for in a browser. Heck, it even solves problems that I knew I had but didn't think could be resolved!

And switching from Chrome was a breeze. Since Sidekick is built on top of the open-source Chromium framework, migrating my Google account, bookmarks and extensions was a super easy and quick process.

There are a couple of things that make Sidekick a major upgrade from Chrome or any other browser out there.

But first, let me give you an idea of what's wrong with Chrome.

Chrome: The flawed market leader

There's no doubt that Chrome is certainly a crowd favourite. The way it displaced Internet Explorer and Firefox in the span of a few years to become the market leader is nothing short of phenomenal.

Back in 2008, Chrome sure was a fresh take on the browser. More people were spending their time working inside a browser and Google had the vision to develop it with rich, interactive web applications in mind.

However, Chrome does have its flaws.

Chrome has been in the news for all the wrong reasons when it comes to privacy. Last year, when the Apple Store app privacy labels came out, all eyes turned to the advertising giant to see what data is being collected and they didn't disappoint.

It was found that Chrome's data harvesting practices were quite out of the ordinary. Chrome collects data fields like location, identifiers, search & browsing history, and a lot more and links all of them to a user's identity. This is a genuine threat to a user's privacy and a serious reason why you should consider quitting Chrome. You can read more about the privacy concerns here.

Secondly, it eats up a lot of memory and makes it really difficult to work on your PC if you're running multiple apps at the same time. Tab suspender extensions can solve this problem up to an extent but it's still scrappy.

And finally, tab clutter! Ever find yourself getting lost in all the open tabs in your browser?

I've seen folks running north of 50+ tabs and multiple Chrome windows to keep hold of all the tabs they need for pending tasks.

Well, if you're someone who takes privacy seriously and resonate with the issues I mentioned above, you'll fall in love with Sidekick.

Let me explain what makes Sidekick a Chrome killer.

Built-in ad blocker & fingerprinting defense

The one thing I absolutely love about Sidekick is its commitment to user privacy. They are not in the advertising business and have all the necessary features built into the browser to safeguard a user's privacy.

This includes a built-in ad blocker to block trackers from following you around the web and for removing ads from websites. The browser also comes with a fingerprinting defense to block third parties from identifying details about you like the browser you use, computer hardware & software information, etc.

A user's private data such as browsing history, cookies and passwords are all stored locally and with a subscription-based model (includes a free plan), Sidekick has a clear business model that's not reliant on harvesting user data for monetary benefits like Chrome.

Work in apps instead of tabs

The average number of apps used by a modern worker is 9 and most of these run inside the browser. But Chrome is not designed to make your life easier to work with apps. When everything has to be a tab, staying organised gets a bit difficult. Especially if you use a lot of web apps, 5 tabs can quickly become 10 or 15 in no time.

With Sidekick, you have a workspace to add all the apps you use and pin the most frequently used apps in your sidebar. This means that you can switch between them easily without needing any open tabs. Time to say goodbye to tab clutter!

Sidekick also features an AI tab suspender to free memory by automatically suspending unused tabs.

Another interesting feature is that you can be logged into different accounts for an app even if it is not natively supported.

For example, if you're on multiple Slack workspaces, you can be logged into all accounts at the same time and switch between them easily. On a Chrome browser, you'll need to log out from an account and log in to the next one or have multiple incognito tabs to manage multiple accounts for an app.

Save your sessions for later

The most practical feature that was missing in a browser. Period.

Sessions in Sidekick allow you to save all your open tabs for later use. This feature is super helpful when you have pending tasks that you want to come back to or if you need to use certain tabs throughout the week for certain tasks. With a single click, you can restore all the tabs in a session and switch between sessions whenever you want to.

Happens to be my favourite feature on Sidekick. When I was using Chrome, this was something I constantly struggled with.

A lightning-fast search function

Having all your apps inside the Sidekick browser gives you one incredible superpower – a lightning-fast global search function.

Just hit Alt + S and search across your history, tabs, documents, apps and quickly find what you're looking for. It really makes everything accessible and saves a lot of time when you want to pull something up.

Wrapping up

I cannot emphasise enough the impact Sidekick has had on my day to day workflow. It's wild that something like this didn't exist before!

When Sidekick launched in December 2020, it felt like a Christmas present as I went playing around with it. There are many subtle features in Sidekick that I haven't touched upon. I'll let you discover them on your own ;)

You should probably give it a try and say goodbye to the data sucking giant called Google Chrome. Sign up for Sidekick – it's free to get started!

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That's all folks! If you liked this article, consider sharing it with a friend. That would really mean the world to me! :)

Thanks to Allen for reviewing the draft of this article.