“This browser sports a tag-line stating, ‘The web browser that puts you in control.’ I haven’t been much of an Omniweb fan in the past, so reviewing this browser was a leap of faith for me. I’m in love with Omnigraffle but that is another review in itself, so my past grievances with Omniweb weren’t directed toward the company, but rather the browser itself.” Read the rest of the review at MacCritic.
OmniWeb 5.0b Preview at MacCritic
Submitted by Silas Warren 2004-05-10 Internet 14 Comments
safari comes free with mac os and it’s fast, stable and it’s got all the features you’d need in a web browser, then you’ve got IE in case you come across any sites that are “optimised for IE”, then if you want more features there’s always firefox.
why would anyone pay for this when there are already a bunch of competent, stable and most importantly, free web browsers already available for the mac. it doesn’t seem like there are any features cool enough to lure me over, although i must say, the tabs look pretty cool the way they’re little thumbnails.
You don’t have to pay for it. You can use it unlisenced. But it does do a lot of things that other browsers don’t. Use it for a week and see how you like it before making up your mind about it. There are only 3 reasons I don’t like it, the keyboard controls are off from the rest of the OS, it puts those glowing things around links the way IE does…ruining the look of a site, and for some reason it doesn’t handle Flash correctly (even though it’s based off WebCore just like Safari, which handles it fine). None of those are major issues, just little annoyances.
I like what omnigroup is trying to do. They put out some pretty good software, and I’ve bought licenses for Graffle and outliner. However, I think their prices are just to steep for the browser. They ought to make it more of a promotion to buy their other software. We all know it’s based on Webcore, and I really am not in the mood to purchase just a ramped up interface.
I agree with you chris. It does seem to have a very nice interface, well the 5.0b, but $30 is a bit too much for a browser that is nothing but a different interface for webcore. Just my two cents.
Opera also costs about $30 but they develop their own better rendering engine and other features Omniweb doesn’t have like a mail client, RSS newsfeed reader, and an IRC chat client. If you’re going to purchase a browser it should be from Opera.
OmniWeb is more than just a ‘ramped up interface to WebCore’. For example its handling of cookies goes way beyond what Safari or even Mozilla offer.
If you don’t need this extended (non-WebCore) functionality, then OmniWeb is not for you; but everybody else should give it a try.
Hrmm.. Well.. this certainly is a little different. I absolutely love drawers in OS X, and so this makes me happy. Seeing the preview of the page in the drawer is a nice touch also. Not sure if it’s worth 30$ from me, but I’ll certainly give it a shot.
Good article, before this I always thought of OmniWeb as some old crusty browser, this showed me otherwise.
‘Next feature we have is workspaces: this innovative feature allows you to save a suite of pages that you have opened for future access.’
Isn’t this basically the same as Opera’s saved window sessions? It’s hardly an innovation when another browser has had the features for years.
Opera too provides bookmark searching and you can view open windows in the hotlist (similar to the way Omniweb handles tabs). Overall I can’t see much reason to use Omniweb rather than Opera, especially considering features like Opera’s brilliant mouse gesture implementation.
I don’t know about Opera, but this has been a feature in MyIE2 for awhile … but then, I guess Mac users wouldn’t know about that (So much for making Windows users envious, eh?)
In MyIE2, not only can you save things in groups, but you can set pages to have their own ‘sticky’ names. (In other words, when you open the group, the page name will be whatever you specify if you change it from the default).
The drawer things seem like a complete waste of screen space. Although maybe it works on those widescreen Mac CRTs, I’ve never been a fan of sidebars on any browser.
On the plus side, the ability to scale fonts on a per-site basis seems like a cool feature, and is one I haven’t seen before. I think that in the future, browsers will let you do EVERYTHING on a per-site basis, from blocking ads and pop-ups, disabling backgrounds, killing Flash, etc.
This review only covers some of the functionality that OmniWeb 5 offers, and what it does cover it understates somewhat. I would urge everyone here to give OmniWeb a try before giving it the flick. If you wanted to be sure to get the best experience, wait for the final of OW 5.1 (since 5.0 is based on WebCore v85, and many compatibility issues are fixed in WebCore v125, which the current Safari uses and which OW 5.1 will use).
OmniWeb does indeed include RSS reading functionality, a source editor, and download manager. In addition to domain searching, any non-textarea field on a web page can be added as a searchable location. Almost all settings can be set on a per-site basis. Textarea fields can be “popped-up” into a separate window for editing purposes (especially useful for long posts). History is full-text searchable. And there’s plenty more.
Most of these features of course exist in some other browsers – some of them existed in previous versions of OmniWeb. But this is not your ‘average browser’ with forward & back buttons, tabs, a location bar and a google search bar.
“The drawer things seem like a complete waste of screen space. Although maybe it works on those widescreen Mac CRTs, I’ve never been a fan of sidebars on any browser.”
Drawers are used throughout the OS, so it’s not a strange thing to see, and is very comfortable. The default Mail application makes great use of them.
“On the plus side, the ability to scale fonts on a per-site basis seems like a cool feature, and is one I haven’t seen before. I think that in the future, browsers will let you do EVERYTHING on a per-site basis, from blocking ads and pop-ups, disabling backgrounds, killing Flash, etc.”
OmniWeb does now, that just wasn’t a great review.
Thank you for the feed back! Keep the comments coming, since it will help me improve the reviews that I post.
Safari is an outstanding web browser! In fact, I use it as my primary browser. That said, Omni Group building off of the webcore platform was a smart move. Instead they focused on adding features. Innovative or not some people find them useful. I am one of them. That said, worth the price tag? Darn close. I’m waiting until I see the final release before I make up my mind.
Regarding Opera, I downloaded the free version the other night, and will be testing that out in the coming weeks. A first glance made me wonder if I had missed out on a great browser. We’ll see…
PantherPPC, I’m not sure what you meant by your comment: Omniweb does now, that just wasn’t a great review. Catch me in iChat and you can explain. As stated in the review, I hadn’t used Omniweb for a long time. As a result, I could only compare it to Safari, and sadly IE.
In addition to Opera, I plan on reviewing the Mozilla, Firebird, and maybe Camino.
I just meant that it didn’t go into depth enough to get the point across of what OmniWeb now has to offer. It went into details that mostly compared it to other browers, but didn’t say enough about it’s unique features. OmniWeb does some really neat stuff and is showing that there is still room for innovation and competition even when competing with an Apple product on OS X.
Saying ‘it does that already’ was in response to ‘I think that in the future, browsers will let you do EVERYTHING on a per-site basis, from blocking ads and pop-ups, disabling backgrounds, killing Flash, etc.’. OmniWeb lets you do all that on a per-site basis. Maybe he didn’t read the whole article.