At the moment.... mostly about moths

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Safari 4 - my experience so far

I've been trying the beta version of Apple's browser Safari 4 now since it came out - maybe a couple of weeks ago. I'm running it on a 2 year old laptop with 2gb memory and running Vista home premium.

I'm not going to review all the new features etc, best way to do that is visit the download site:

The most noticeable new thing you see is the Google Chrome like hot sites that it generates as your home page. Images of your most oft visited web sites sort of curve around the screen to give you quick access to your key sites. When I saw this first, I did think well that's pretty cool actually. It turns out I don't really use that feature much. I'm very used to having all my favourite links up on the links bar and i can't get out of the habit of just clicking on a button. So I'm not sure of the usefullness of this feature, although others may say otherwise. I never use the similar visual functionality on the ipod around album selection, so maybe I'm not that way inclined?

That however is just about the only negative comment I can come up with.. This is a great browser, the best I have ever used. It knocks spots off Chrome, which to do be honest I just couldn't get used to. It's also better than IE and the previous version of safari (which was my browser choice previously). I now use it as my default browser for nearly all tasks (there are some web sites that don't trust the safari browser). I really like the compact way the tabs and bars are arranged at the top - a minimum amount of my screen is wasted, yet it all works well.

It's also fast - which was what got me interested when I saw the specs. Other reviews on the web have made benchmark tests and show it's much faster than most other browsers. I haven't the skill or inclination to do any of that BUT as a normal user I can say that it is much quicker, much more responsive and provides an improved user experience.

Yet again Apple seem to have improved on the competition. It's more usable and it's faster and still only in beta. I'm not sure how my views compare with the consensus out there, but it works for me.

And no I don't work for Apple... I'm starting to wish I did.


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