"Safe" is open to what you consider to be "safe".
Bear in mind that after many years, Google's only significant revenue is derived from advertising, and what enables their ability to overwhelmingly dominate that market is Google's exceptional ability to deliver targeted advertising directly to you. Their clients will pay the highest advertising rates because Google is so successful at bringing them paying customers.
Google's sole reason for developing Chrome is to maximize their presence on the devices people use. They didn't develop Chrome to displace Explorer or Safari or Firefox, they did it so that they can gather personal information useful to their clients - companies that want to sell things to you - which they do with remarkable effectiveness.
Every business that sells products wants to attract people with money to spend on them. More is better. Married people spend more than unmarried, educated more than uneducated, homeowners more than renters, employed more than unemployed, but the data Google is able to collect goes much deeper than that. If you have a specific product to sell, you need specific customers who will pay the most for it, and Google can deliver those customers to you. The language you speak, the cars you drive, the movies you see, the music you like, your race, sex, recreational activities... all such information is pure gold, and Google is the indisputable king of that information.
Chrome is specifically designed to collect such information for Google's exclusive use, to retain their dominant presence in advertising, and to maximize return for their stakeholders. They have been defending their unfettered ability to do so quite fervently, and they have the money to continue that fight for a very long time.
Whether you care about privacy or not is up to you. Having targeted advertising delivered to you has advantages. It makes it easier for you to find the products and services you want. Most people don't object to a little privacy intrusion. It is information that can be useful for you... but it is also information that can just as easily be used as prejudice against you.
These concerns have been greater in Europe than in the US. Europeans have more first-hand experience regarding the effects of privacy intrusion, so they have been regarding Google with much more scrutiny. Attempts to compel Google to include more privacy protections for their users have repeatedly failed, and they have paid millions to settle privacy intrusion charges brought against them by US regulatory agencies.
Safari was developed to enhance Apple's products. Firefox is open source and depends largely on volunteer developers. Both function well on Macs, both offer flexible options to safeguard your privacy, while Google's privacy intrusiveness cannot be reasonably circumvented.
For another perspective read: When Google Brainstorms, Online World Shudders
Whether Chrome is "reliable" or "smooth running" is also open to interpretation. Chrome appears frequently in complaints regarding poor performance on this support site whereas Firefox and Safari appear less frequently. From problem reports that have been posted here, it is also clear that Chrome is very demanding of finite system resources and will burden more modestly equipped Macs than newer ones with more memory, faster processors, and solid state drives.
The ability to choose whatever browser works best for you is always welcome though, so consider all there is to consider and choose wisely. No one will care about your privacy more than you.
The agent told me he uses Google Chrome for Mac and is very pleased with it.
That might be so, or it might be that they are a techie hoping to score the ultimate job working for Google.
I personally find Chrome a bloated piece of crap myself, the privacy issues, wifi sniffing and Google pushing their browser as a platform is just icing to the privacy threat that Google is.
Why should I have to sign in to Google to install add-ons into Chrome? It's not necessary unless I want to sync personal data.
They are way too Orwellian for my tastes.
Is Google Chrome for Mac safe? Reliable? Smooth running? Easy to use?
It's safe to use, except for your privacy and wallet.
It's somewhat reliable and smooth running, but it's bloated and sometimes glitchy since it tries to do too much and do everything. It installs a root level auto-updater (for all Google software) that is rather difficult to remove and difficult to find the instructions for, like they want to keep spying on you even if one quits them.
Google root level auto-updater: to uninstall that (provided you have no Google software on the machine)
Chrome is as easy to use as any other browser.
Firefox, Chrome, Safari are all about the same, it's just Firefox respects one's privacy better and has the most customization and add-ons than any other browser.
Safari's add-ons are rather lacking and Chrome's one's are either tricks to get you to install more paid software or spy on you and it tells you it's going to do it, so you have to give it permission to do it in order for it to run.
I came away from Chrome feeling rather disgusted.
There is the new free Epic Privacy browser, it's based on Chromium (same as Chrome) without all the spyware.
However it's not user customizable like Firefox is with all the themes to make it whatever you like!
Hello. I am new to iMac 21.5. I am not happy with the Safari browser, so I added Firefox, which I previously used on my PC.
If your happy using Firefox, then keep on using it, your downgrading if your deciding to use Chrome as Firefox is the best browser there is currently.
Perhaps you need to experiment with it's customization and add-ons to understand it's full potential.
Do you have a idea what your particular need is in a browser, perhaps with that being known we can recommend a solution.
If it's a hard of seeing issue, I have a User Tip already created here.
Thank you, ds store, for being very helpful. I feel really good about Firefox, and I'm sticking with it. I was having problems with the Optimum Online website - very slow to load up, sometimes freezing, making me use the Stop/Refresh keys - especially when viewing e-mail or trying to see information about TV listings. I answered their survey and told them the problem happens often, and it was suggested to me to use the Chrome browser for Mac. I didn't even like the browser that came with the iMac (Safari?), so I downloaded Firefox for Mac, which works well, but I can't seem to personalize it with the themes I like. I'm glad I didn't jump at the Live Chat agent's suggestion about Chrome. Thank you again for helping me make a very good decision.
Thank you, John Galt. You are absolutely right about the whole issue. You and others in this community site have been most helpful. Unlike my rash purchase of the iMac, I was able to keep a clear head and am keeping the Firefox for Mac as my default browser, with Safari on he side (just in case). I will not be adding any others, especially not Google's Chrome. I notice that Google tries to get me to enter Google +, and that they always ask for more information in my profile. I always reject those requests, and you are certainly right about their objective with Chrome. I do like the Google Search feature, though.
Thank you again.