Apple's Safari Browser Is Hard to Close

by Derrick Story

By now we've all seen the comparison numbers and most likely have played with the Safari browser on our own computers. And true to the promise, this is one fast browser.



Who says speed doesn't matter? Well, not me. I work online everyday, and having Web pages quickly snap on to my screen definitely makes work more enjoyable. I'm using it right now to write this weblog using our Web-based publishing system.





Safari browser load speed

During his Macworld keynote address, Steve Jobs illustrates the page load speed of Apple's new Web browser, Safari.




I also like the look of the interface. It's clean and the typography is attractive. The SnapBack feature is very useful. When I first land at a top-level page, knowing that I'm going to be drilling down into the site, I choose "Mark Page for SnapBack." Then no matter how far I meander, I just have to hit the orange arrow in the URL pane of the browser to return to the marked page.



Speaking of the URL pane, the aqua blue status indicator that moves from left to right as the page loads is quite creative, and attractive.



Safari automatically imports your IE bookmarks for you. To access them, simply go to "Show All Bookmarks," then open the "Imported IE Favorites" folder. They're all there waiting for you.



I've arranged them in folders by topic, then dragged the folders up to Bookmarks Bar. The title of the folder appears with a "down arrow" beside it. Just click on the arrow, and all the bookmarks in that folder appear as a drop down menu. Very nice.



I'm also very happy to have built-in spell checking (for online writing such as this weblog). Go to Edit --> Spelling and choose Check Spelling as You Type."



The Google integration is a good addition. And I love that the text automatically wraps within the window when I select "View Source."



I've noticed that Safari does have a problem when I'm adding information to certain types of text fields, depending on how the page is designed, and because bug reports are so easy to file, I haven't hesitated to let the Apple engineers know.



Overall, I think the beta version of Safari is strong. If Apple continues to show the intelligence and discipline with this software that they have so far, I think it will become the primary browser for many Mac users.


12 Comments

anonymous2
2003-01-12 13:00:32
It's fast it's free it's not IE
I still find myself using chimera, mainly due to tabs but for instance when I go to slashdot the line spacing seems a bit messed up in safari. It's great that apple has 500,000 beta testers though as these little bugs and big feature requests will be heard and hopefully fixed.
derrick
2003-01-12 18:36:13
It's fast it's free it's not IE
I like Chimera also, especially the tabs. But remember, this is the first release of Safari, and Chimera has been around for a while.


My 'blog isn't a knock on the other offerings, or even a comparison, rather, my first impressions of Safari.


Bottom line, we now have four solid browsers for Mac OS X -- IE, Omni, Chimera, and Safari. Times are good.

dsteinberg
2003-01-13 11:09:53
Times are good
Man, I want to echo that last point of yours Derrick. It's so nice to have great choices on our platform. It's easy for people to forget how few OS X apps there were a year ago this time and how we were stuck running some because they were the only game in town. It's great to have the choices you list as well as half a dozen other browsers not listed.


Daniel

anonymous2
2003-01-14 21:06:02
Safari - best of breed (And it's only the beta!)
This browser is wonderful.


It is smart, slick, and very fast. I'm sure that Dave Hyatt and the others over @ devcenter in Cupertino will implement a brand new "tab-browsing" experience a future version


(Something like the way drawers come out in mail perhaps?).


A blog-builder interface for .mac might also be nice.


Keep up the good work Apple.


/webmonkey

anonymous2
2003-01-15 18:31:56
Good for Web Developers too
I also notice that Safari is very good for previewing pages. It has excellent standards based CSS and Javascript support, and it als loads .js, .css, and image files from the DISK and not the CACHE like some browsers do, IE, MOZILLA. And that's a GOOD thing for Web Developers. :)
mcombs
2003-01-22 08:21:45
Opportunity identified, and missed
I was really excited to read about Safari, but I'm less excited now that I've used it.


The exciting news was that Apple correctly identified the primary use of a computer today (browsing the web), and the three most important elements of that experience (speed, accurate rendering, and bookmarks/navigation).


Apple did a good job on the 1st & 2nd items, but so does Opera.


The disappointment was the third item, bookmarks and navigation, which translates to usability... That's supposed to be the Apple advantage.


It's easier to manage bookmarks in IE than in Safari. Right-click on a bookmark to rename or delete it without having to leave the window you're browsing.


Point to a bookmark on IE and a tooltip tells you its actual URL and the of that page (in case you've renamed the bookmark). Even changing the bookmark name is easier, simply because IE gives you a wider text field in which to edit.<p><br /> It's a nice plus to be able to drag bookmarks directly into folders on the toolbar (can't do that in IE), but unlike Mozilla the folders aren't spring-loaded, so you can't specify WHERE in the folder they'll go. And dragging bookmarks doesn't give you the option of renaming them.<p><br /> How about creating and storing a thumbnail rendition/icon of the page (remember WebTV) that will be visible when I am in the bookmark view? <p><br /> None of this would have required any innovation on Apple's part. Just copy from other implementations.<p><br /> How about automatically storing the page's <meta description> along with the bookmark? Or looking up and storing the page's category from the Open Directory Project, and then automatically filing the bookmark in a folder?<p><br /> How about a "test all" button that scans all bookmarks to see if any get 404 errors?<p><br /> I've got hundreds of bookmarks and I need every tool I can get to keep them organized. Apple has correctly identified the problem -- but will they fix it?<br /> </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="20%" valign="top"><b>anonymous2</b><br> 2003-01-22 09:15:32 </td> <td valign=top> <b>Couple of little things missing</b><br /> I like Safari, but there's a couple UI features in Explorer that I'm missing in Safari. One is the display of the Title tag when you mouse over a link. The other is when you mouse over a link, Explorer shows the url in the bottom of the window. <p><br /> However, after I installed Safari, I haven't gone back to IE. I'm hoping this stuff shows up in the full release of Safari. </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="20%" valign="top"><b>anonymous2</b><br> 2003-01-23 18:50:27 </td> <td valign=top> <b>"Quit" not "Close"</b><br /> shouldn't that be 'Quit' not 'Close'? I was left wondering if there was a bug in Safari making it hard to close a browser window. Maybe it was a trick to get my attention and make me read the artcle? </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="20%" valign="top"><b>anonymous2</b><br> 2003-01-29 18:10:27 </td> <td valign=top> <b>Couple of little things missing</b><br /> You can turn on the mouse over url display in the View menu. Turn on Status Bar. </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="20%" valign="top"><b>anonymous2</b><br> 2003-02-01 14:22:39 </td> <td valign=top> <b>" I miss"..Autofill.</b><br /> I Found the autofill rather handy for form filling given the way that websites are trying to maintain a paper mentality when it comes to transfer of info from screen to desk to process. A one click saves me a lot of effort when I use a stick to do the key pressing. </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="20%" valign="top"><b>anonymous2</b><br> 2003-03-05 18:07:13 </td> <td valign=top> <b>safari vs chimera (I mean Camino)</b><br /> Safari is a very nice browser, but I miss the GUI adjustability of Chimera/Camino. (I like to rearrange the elements of the toolbar). Hopefully that feature will be added. </td> </tr> <tr> <td width="20%" valign="top"><b>anonymous2</b><br> 2003-04-12 14:23:48 </td> <td valign=top> <b>30 second limit in preferances??</b><br /> HELLO all...<p><br /> I'm getting frustrated with the "30 second limit" to load pages in Safari (default setting) . MANY sites don't load that quick. (unfortuately I have slow lines & no DSL) Does ANYone know how to change this?? There seem to be VERY limited preferance options & I don't see anything on how to do this. <p><br /> I work in OP 10.2.5 if that should be related.<p><br /> THANKS, glenneth@sonic,net </td> </tr> </table <!--footer --> <!-- --> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="eightPixel"> </td> </tr> <tr valign="bottom"> <td align="center" class="navfooterbg"><!--BottomNav Start--> <table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" class="emailSignUpTable"> <tr> <td style="width:516px;"> <form method="GET" id="emailSignUp" action="http://post.oreilly.com/client/o/oreilly/forms/quicksignup.cgi"> <table border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" width="500"> <tbody> <tr> <td width="275"> <div style="padding-left: 12px;">Sign up today to receive special discounts,<br /> product alerts, and news from O'Reilly.</div> </td> <td width="172"> <input type="hidden" name="client_token" value="oreilly"><input type="hidden" name="subscribe" value="optin"> <input type="hidden" name="success_url" 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