Safari 4 is a winner

Apple’s WWDC began today with the keynote kick off.  Among the items discussed were Snow Leopard, Apple’s new version of OS X, a new Safari, iPhone OS 3 and, of course, the new iPhone 3G S.  iPhone 3G S is the third iteration of the device.  This seems to be a rather bland update to the hardware.  Externally, there are no real changes.  Internally, however, there are quite a few.  I’m not going to talk too much about the phone, since you can read about that, in greater detail, here.  Suffice it to say, the phone now contains video recording, a 3 megapixel camera, a better battery and voice control, which is pretty cool if it works right.

Instead of talking about the phone, I thought I would talk about something that I can and will use: Safari 4.  While Apple does not do Windows software very well,  Safari is one thing that they have done well.  Many, including Apple fans, diss Safari on Windows much like that nameless person dissed Windows 7 during the keynote today.  I don’t quite understand why people don’t like Safari on Windows.  It actually works really well.  And 4.0 is pretty good, so good, that I might use it as my primary browser.  I need to use it for a few days, though, to make sure.  One thing is certain: it beats Internet Explorer 8. 

safari4 The one thing that Apple did with Safari 4-and they should have done it with 1.0-is ditch the OS X look and feel.  The browser now looks more like a Vista application and it uses the Windows fonts instead of those rather nasty Apple fonts.  The browser utilizes the Windows border, title bar and control box buttons instead of trying to mimic the OS X look.

Apple has added a new feature that shows a wall of thumbnails for most visited sites.  It looks like the Coverflow view that you see when you switch to the Collections/Show All Bookmarks view.  This is one area where I like Coverflow.  Apple kind of overuses that feature, but, here, it works well.

Apple’s speed claims seem to hold true.  Once the browser loads, it is very fast.  It FEELS faster than Chrome and Firefox and it absolutely blows IE 8 out of the water.  Hands down, it FEELS like the fastest browser out there.

The rendering problems I had with earlier versions of Safari seem to be gone.  Half Byte fully renders, which is something that it was not doing in previous incarnations.

The interface is sparse and, typical of Apple’s philosophy, is attractive. It is also very clean with the tabs facing down and curvy.  The minimalist approach also means that the browser loads quicker than either IE 8 or Firefox.

Overall, I’m impressed with the browser so far.  I am going to put it through its paces over the next few days, but, so far, it’s looking really good, so good that I think it could become my primary browser.  Wow, scary thought…an Apple application in the middle of a sea of Microsoft apps, on Windows 7.  Scary, indeed.

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2 thoughts on “Safari 4 is a winner

  1. George no offense but to say that Safari "absolutely blows IE 8 out of the water" gives me a big "so what?" – my grandmother’s abacus could blow IE8 out of the water…not exactly setting the bar high are we? I am interested though in tests to compare how Chrome v. FireFox v. Safari compare – have you tried any of the usual battery of download and page rendering tests? I installed Safari but it keeps having issues with my company’s proxy – even though I have the proxy disabled (I am in IT after all)…it just has issues (the same with other Apple products, no issues with Google apps. or anyone else for that matter) – apparently they default to proxy even if you disable in your browser etc. So for me Safari is going straight to the uninstall bin…

  2. OK, you got me! What you have to understand, though, is that for me, I died in the wool IE FAN, this says quite a bit. IE 7 was a huge leap over IE 6 and has been my favorite browser. IE 8, though, is just a dog. It takes forever and a day for it to start, then it takes quite a while for it to render a page-when it actually does so. Quite often, using IE 8 is an exercise in frustration. Safari, though, works and ALWAYS renders the page I want and quite fast as well. No, I have not performed any real benchmarks with the other browsers. Chrome is quick, but I am not a huge fan of the browser. Admittedly, I have not tried the most recent version. If Google has fixed the rendering issues it had, then it might be worth another look. I quit when I discovered that Half Byte was not rendering correctly. Firefox is pretty decent and I use it quite a bit. It, however, suffers the same speed problems that IE 8 does: it is dog slow to start and is not much better than IE in rendering pages. Now, before I go too far on this speed thing, it is, ultimately, not the driving force in which browser I want to us. I want use one that: does not crash alot, won’t take longer to start than I’m losing my hair and, third, renders the pages correctly. Safari 4, so far, meets all of that. Opera is probably OK too, but why bother with it? It has no advantage over any of the others, does not render everything as well as FF, IE or Safari. As to your problems with Safari, I only use it at home. I had a few issues with it at work as well. And Apple’s insistence on wanting to install other crap is infuriating. Bonjour, really? UGH.

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