Safari 4 Beta:User Review


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I know that its been quite sometime since Safari 4 beta was released, but it was only today that I downloaded it. I use Firefox & its just for surfing….nothing fancy. I barely use any of the gazillion extensions/add-ons only fastdial [have ditched IE a long time back for FF…& have no intensions of ever returning!]

Being a Mac owner there was no way I could have missed the news about Safari[the speed, the hoopla about the tabs]. Safari 3 was not much to my liking. One of the main reasons was the colour of the tabs & the text in it, the tab colouring as very dark & I had to strain myself to read what it said. Also it was not easy to know which tab was ‘active’ just by the colour. And I found this very strange since apple is famous for its eye-candy! I tried using it but it was too hard, so went back to FF.

Anyway, today Hemant said that he had downloaded the Safari beta[vista]. Now to have safari running on a windows laptop, & not on Mac…that would be sacrilege in our flat! So with that thought, I started the download.
Note:
->It replaces Safari 3….so had to download the latest version of S3 too.
->My FF stops downloading files randomly. It happens many times, w/o any notice. You don’t even come to know of it as the download window keeps on showing the est. time & the download speed. It’s only when you watch it closely that you see no progress of the ‘progress bar’ or any change in the time remaining.Since the download link was not opening in igetter[download manager], I had to download it on FF. And it stopped twice 😦

Installed w/o any problems, had to restart as it was required. S4:beta launched & did not give me any problems with my general surfing. It has not crashed even once & I have not seen any beta glitches so far [touch wood!].

Experience:

The Good:
-I don’t care what others say I am 100% for the tabs. They don’t eat up screen space & do not pose any problems in dragging etc. I just hope that Apple does not dump the tabs due to the opposition. Maybe they should  provide an option to switch to the old style in the final version.

To get the old tab styling.
1.Open Terminal[Safari should not be running]
2.Type-> defaults write com.apple.Safari DebugSafari4TabBarIsOnTop -bool NO


3.Hit Enter
4.Launch Safari.Surf.

-The tab visibility problem has been solved. Now I can easily read it. Even better than FF! This was the main reason for not using S3.
-I can feel the speed difference while surfing. Facebook, Lifehacker, Wiki used to take ages to load. It is way zippier now.
-Top sites takes care of my fast dial dependence. Was a little worried that it would keep changing as I surf, but you can ‘pin’ your favorites. I have customized my top sites to show my choice of sites only.[open the site,        drag & drop the globe on the left of the address in the Top Site, opened in new window]
-I wanted to set Top Site as my homepage, as fastdial was in FF. Easily done. [Open Safari>preference>general>homepage. Type “topsites:// ” minus the quotes]
-Spotlight kind search of the ‘history’. Can look inside the page along with the title. Very thorough
-Like the layout of the pages. I am not able to put my finger on it, but the pages are displayed very clearly. All the text is sharp & looks nice. In FF I had to increase the size of the text to read comfortably, not in S4. VERY   easy on the eyes.

The Bad:
-S4:beta does not have a progress bar. I had to turn on the ‘status bar’ to know how much data was remaining. Looked around to find a method to get the progress bar back.

1.Open Terminal[Safari should not be running]
2.Type-> defaults write com.apple.Safari DebugSafari4IncludeToolbarRedesign -bool NO
3.Hit Enter
4.Now Type->defaults write com.apple.Safari DebugSafari4LoadProgressStyle -bool NO
5.Hit Enter again
6.Launch Safari.Surf.

After the terminal job, I have no complaints with Safari 4:beta

————————————–
I am pretty happy with it. But again my demands are small. I don’t use the RSS feeds in safari, am not a developer. But for a normal consumer the beta seems fine. I haven’t mentioned the cover flow thingie as I did not find much use for it. Though it is being touted as a feature, I do not think it will be of as much use as the other stuff.

Now I am using Safari 4 for all the surfing. FF is there but only as a backup. If Apple sticks to the present features I am sure I will be using S4 when it comes out of beta.

safari 4 beta

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