Linked by Kroc Camen on Tue 24th Feb 2009 14:55 UTC
Apple Apple released the Safari 4 Beta today. Features: Tabs on top. "Top Sites" 'Speed Dial' feature. "Smart" address/search fields. HTML5 Canvas. HTML5 Audio/Video (though no Ogg). Acid 3. CSS Animation/Gradients/Masks/Reflection. CSS Web Fonts. New "Nitro" Javascript engine - "Up to 4 times faster than Firefox 3.1". 'Native' look and native font rendering on Windows Vista/XP. I can think of only one thing: "Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!"
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by rajan r on Tue 24th Feb 2009 17:22 UTC
rajan r
Member since:

Just installed Safari 4.0 Beta.

1. It installs over Safari 3.x - without any option not to (if there is an option, they sure hid it). Safari 4 has already crashed once.

2. Tabs on the top is horrible. Sure, it is much more polished than Chrome on Windows, but nonetheless, annoying (I especially seem to confuse the nice red blop and the small red box with an X in the first tab on the left). I don't see any usability reason why the tabs is more functional on the top. Instead, it continues Apple's trend of breaking consistency for no good particular reason to a whole new level.

I'm sure apps (including Chrome) will implement tabs on the top. Just that they would do it in their own way. Mac used to be big on consistency, and now only the Windows version is consistent with its environment (a strange reversal there).

3. Multitouch gestures remain at 3.x level. In Firefox 3.2 Beta 2, there are more gestures (I'm particularly a big fan of its method to change tabs) - though I didn't like how they go to the start or end of a page with the three finger up and down respectively. Apple decided the three finger up/down is not good enough for Safari - a shame. Also, a reason why I'm sticking with Firefox.

4. GMail and Google Reader, the two AJAX-heavy websites I visit daily, nay, hourly - doesn't seem particularly faster than on Firefox. Safari's Javascript engine may very well be faster than Firefox (wouldn't be shocking), but at some point, it doesn't matter. It instead seem to be a forward looking thing - perhaps five years from now, complex Javascript websites would bring traditional Javascript engines to its knees.

5. Top Sites is cool (nicer animation than Chrome and Opera at least). But like Chrome (and Opera, though the feature is very different there), it's unlikely I would use it often. I already have the top twelve sites I visit on the bookmark bar, it serves me well.

6. In terms of browsing, having gotten used to Firefox's URL bar, Safari 4's seem downright primitive (even IE 8 on Windows 7 do the URL bar much better).

Reply Score: 2

by rajan r on Tue 24th Feb 2009 18:05 in reply to "WTH?"
rajan r Member since:

BTW, I just noticed the tabs on the top exists for the Windows version as well.

I guess my biggest grouse against tabs on the top is that it blurs the line between title bar and tab. Previously, you can drag any part of the tab to move it around or to create a new window. Now, you can only drag the left-most corner of the tab - dragging the rest of the tab would have the same result as dragging any other title bar.

If Apple really wanted to save screen real estate (*why* stop at Safari?), honestly, I prefer Microsoft's idea of merging the toolbar with the title bar.

The zoom is extremely wonky - for the first few milimetres of the pinch, Safari doesn't react. After that, it drastically zooms in/out - not the gradual zoom I'm accustomed to on Firefox.

Reply Parent Score: 1