Categories
Apple and Mac OS X Web Browsers

Safari 4 has almost caught up to other browsers

When I read the features in the new Safari 4 beta, I got really excited. My wife uses Safari on her Mac because when she first started using OS X, Firefox and Camino weren’t very stable (the user profiles kept getting corrupt). Now Firefox is much better, and she uses it at work for the web developer extension, but she still uses Safari at home.

Well, I kind of twisted her arm to give Safari 4 beta a try. A lot of the new features sound exciting. It has a tab bar on top to save vertical space (just like Google Chrome). It has a “speed dial” page of your most frequently visited websites (just like Opera and Chrome). Its speed dial is very slick-looking, though (reminiscent of Exposé or the album browser in iTunes).

It still has two major shortcomings, though.

  • Although there is an entry in History for restoring the tabs from last session, there is no setting to have the tabs from last session automatically get restored every time you start the browser.
  • Typing phrases in the address bar doesn’t search for them. Instead, you still get a page saying the URL isn’t found, and then a prompt to search for the phrase. Why not just search instead of adding that extra step? Pretty much every major browser does this (Firefox, Opera, Camino, Chrome). Why not Safari?

Well, I’m glad Apple has put in at least a little more effort into making Safari a better browser. Maybe Safari 5 will actually bring some innovative features instead of just playing catch-up.