Safari 4

The Safari 4 Beta has been out for about a month or so, but I’ve been too lazy to write about it until now. I’ve been using it for the past week or so, and it has won its way to being my main browser. With the addition of Glims (a plugin for Safari to give it some Firefox-esque features), Safari’s become better than Firefox.

Pages load much faster, and even though it’s a beta, Safari 4 never lags or freezes, even after opening ~100 tabs. The develop menu, when enabled, is amazingly useful for web development. I can easily disable images,¬†javascript, and styles with just one click. Safari also has the ability to change its User Agent, so that websites see it as a different browser. For example, I could masquerade as IE 6 for those annoying websites that require IE. The web inspector is almost exactly the same as Firebug, but it looks a lot nicer. See the two screenshots below for comparison:

Firebug (Firefox)

Firebug (Firefox)

Web Inspector (Safari)

Web Inspector (Safari)

The new tab placement is very much like Chrome’s, with the tabs at the top of the window. After using Firefox for so many years, it feels a bit awkward to have the tabs at the very top, but after using it for a day, I got accustomed to it. My only gripe with the tabs is that I can’t drag the tabs around unless I use the little drag area on the right of each tab.

Safari Tabs

Safari Tabs

Now Glims adds some nifty features of its own, such as the ability to reopen a recently closed tab with cmd + z. Having closed many tabs by accident, I cannot even begin to stress how useful this features is. Another useful feature is the ability to switch between tabs using only “,” and “.” By far the most useful modification is the expansion of the search bar. I can now choose from dozens of search engines as well as Wikipedia. When I start typing, a whole auto-suggest overlay pops up, which looks cool as well as being quite useful.

Search Suggest

Search Suggest

As with all good things, Safari has some annoyances, the main one being its annoying form-handling. Whenever a form element is focused, an ugly glow appears around the element. Unless explicitly defined in the CSS, Safari will always display the glow. It would be nice if Apple gave us the option of turning off the annoying glows.

Safari 4 also has the “Top Pages” view enabled on new tabs and windows by default. It shows the top 9 sites in a rather gimmicky, faux-3D kind of way. Cover flow is also enabled in the¬†history, which is actually quite useful, as it allows me to see previously visited sites rather than just looking at URLs.

By typing any letter (when not in a form, of course), Safari activates the page search and dims the website, highlighting the found terms. Esc closes the search. Very useful and efficient, as I don’t need to use the mouse.

Page Search

Page Search

So far I’m really pleased with how Safari 4 is turning out. I’m hoping the final version will be even better.

  • http://www.slantedmindz.com Alec

    Intriguing green menu bar

  • http://dzplanet.net Benje

    I almost wish I had a mac now.

  • Igor

    Im bored in Photoshop class so im responding to your blog-type thing because the crappy internet security doesn’t block it.

  • http://dzine-studios.com Dan

    @Alec: Wha?

    @Benje: Macs aren’t that expensive these days, and Safari 4 is available for Windows as well, though it’s not nearly as awesome.

    @Igor: The school security doesn’t block a lot of sites, just the good ones. Maybe when I stop being lazy I’ll fix the pr0x1e.

  • Relish

    Firefox is better and wordpress sucks.

  • http://dzine-studios.com Dan

    WordPress sucks only if you can make something better. And I haven’t seen you make anything better, so stop complaining. And Firefox is better on Windows, but not on a Mac.

  • http://www.slantedmindz.com Alec

    The home, About, Contact and rss feed button/Menu bar is green now. I thought it was a different color before. Maybe I’m crazy…there’s a very good chance of that.

    P.S. Any theme updates?

  • http://dzine-studios.com Dan

    Nah, you’re not crazy. I just moved the header down a little bit and made the nav have an opaque background, to improve readability. Plus I felt that the “glass” look didn’t fit the overall theme of the site. Theme updates will come, just be patient…

  • Relish

    WordPress sucks and I could easily make something better.

  • http://dzine-studios.com Dan

    But you haven’t, therefore your argument is invalid.