Safari 4 – initial impressions

I downloaded and installed Safari 4 Beta and ran it on my Vista-installed laptop.

Performance and Functionality

It takes a bit of time to load up, but seems to run faster than the previous version of Safari. Some bits of Javascript functionality on sites failed to work when I had too much tabs open. I like that the tabs are similar to Mac’s menu that’s flushed at the top, but I don’t like how the tabs are so thin and quite unreadable – hard to tell them apart. When I had too many tabs open the were hard to scroll to. I got used to firefox’s mousewheel navigation when I had too many tabs open on a window.

For some odd reason, when I start Safari up, the window isn’t maximized – which is kind of annoying, but I can live with that.

Favourite/Top sites

If you love Apple, you’ll probably love this. Whenever you open a new tab, it displays a grid of your favourite sites (like the image at the top). It was nice eye candy to start with, but later I wasn’t sure what I’d do with it. And I realized I don’t have to do anything – it kind of ‘remembers’ which sites I’ve been to. I’m not sure if I’m ready for Safari but I guess if I were to use it on a regular basis, it might be useful to have this feature.

I want X feature

I’m still not convinced it’s blazingly fast, so my bet’s still on Firefox. It would be nice to see some hotkey commands, that are straight-up easy to use (key help displayed in menus or what not).

Has a lot of potential.

3 responses

  1. I’m assuming you tested the Windows vista version… What do you think about the switch to a native theme (safari 3 win kept the metal look)?

    On a mac it’s FAST. I click the Firefox icon, then the safari one: safari is done loading my homepage before Firefox even show any window.

    I’m not quite sold on the “tabs on top” thing… Feels weird to have to drag a tab to drag the window.

    I could easily switch to safari as my main browser, the only thing I need is mouse gestures, got hooked on this a while ago with Opera. Seems sad that Opera has lots of great ideas first (tabs, mouse gesture, “quick dial” start page, …) but somehow never takes off due to its other interface issues…

    Safari 4 “borrows” a lot from opera, firefox and chrome, respects the standard while pushing them forward (CSS animation, CSS effects).

    The browser wars is in full swing, except this time IE is VERY far away. Can’t wait for the seemingly inevitable moment where MS will drop Trident and adopt Webkit (safari’s engine) as their layout engine. This alone would reduce the times it takes to create web stuff in half.

    PS. Remember Webkit is used in many other places: Nokias, iPhone, Android etc.
    Any speed improvement in Webkit result in a hudge speed improvement on the iPhone safari, since precessing power is a much bigger constraint there.

    Yeah for progress.

  2. Maybe you should give it a try on my laptop sometime. IE is okay, comparable to Safari. Firefox beats them both hands down on Windows.

    Not sure what you mean about the native theme – it still looks like the old Safari, not much element of a pure-Windows theme around it. Maybe that’s why it’s not as fast as I want it to be.

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