Safari 3 – Apple bites into the browser market.

Safari 3 BetaApple’s Safari 3 Beta web browser was released June 11th, 2007. The latest release of their popular web browser has caused a ripple throughout the Internet. The big news… Safari 3 is available for Windows!

So far not too bad… Having spent most of my 24 years around computers in the PC world, this is my first experience with an actual Apple Beta release. Time will tell if the final release provides the experience we expect or is just a debugged version of what we have now.

On the good side:

  • speed: this thing is lightning fast, the browser itself comes up much quicker than either IE or Firefox, and pages seem to load just a bit faster.
  • look: the steel grey is nice and non-obtrusive. personally I love it! though those out there that like bright bold colors might not like it.

  • layout: here is another area that the Apple seems nicely polished ;o), the fonts are crisp and smooth and the tool bars, menus and tabs are beautifully minimalized taking up about 1/3 less space than either IE or Firefox.
  • bug notifier: the built in bug notifier is a great touch with a small button and a window swings out of the title bar you type the problem click submit and it swings right back up, done! I’ve never seen a beta release that make it this easy to comment on.
  • import bookmarks: wow that was soo easy! I looked and everything was there, it picked up my bookmarks from IE, Netscape and Firefox. I found that it was also quite easy to move them around and manage the files.

On the negative side:

  • tabs: there’s an option in preferences to open links from applications in a new window or in a new tab. when I select open in new tab it doesn’t seem to work, also there’s no option to open links in a new tab by default (holding control and clicking does though)
  • navigation: My mouse navigation doesn’t work with Safari =o( (back / forward etc)
  • search: there are only google and yahoo as search options
  • extensibility: I’m not sure if I’ve just been spoiled by FireFox’s add ons but I really miss some of the little extras! This is probably my biggest personal issue with Safari. So far there is no ability to add additional search engines, no mouse gestures, view source in a variety of apps, no neat third party addons to do all those wonderful things I’ve gotten used to with Firefox.
  • merge all windows: this is an awesome feature! when you do have multiple windows open ‘merge all windows’ puts them all back into one window with multiple tabs, a great tool
  • private data: for private data it allows you to use a vcard, but defaults to the address book from windows (which I don’t use) and doesn’t allow me to choose any options.

Conclusion:

My initial reaction is that Safari 3 Beta gives a great first impression. I only hope that many of the features that FireFox users have become accustomed to are still to come or that there’ll be plugins available to give us the features we want. But I’d still ask her out for a second date. =o)

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