Trying Safari

I’m posting this from Safari, now that I’m home, with time to try it out.

Eh. I don’t like it.

Okay, it’s fast and simple, with an intuitive interface which gives you quick menu/keyboard access to most key features. Pages render well (except for the tiny text), and a bit faster than in Chimera or IE. And I love the integrated Google search box; just like Opera’s. I don’t know much about the Konqueror open source backend, but it seems to be behaving well, so I’m not too worried about having yet another browser to drag through the standards swamp.

I don’t like: the lack of tabs, the “embossed chrome” skinning, the tiny rendering of default text, and the lack of keyboard support. (The latter has been an especially annoying sticking point for me, both with Safari and with OS X in general.) Tabbing and shift-tabbing through a form doesn’t catch all form elements like checkboxes and selection dropdowns, forcing my hand to the mouse, which is always a slowdown.

I also don’t appreciate Safari’s making itself the default browser and importing my IE bookmarks without first asking. Raffy says it best: “I’m not too comfortable with Steve Jobs pushing me through the door I was just peering into.”

Surprise discovery: Command-Option-clicking a link (which in Opera opens a new tab in the background) will save the target page to your default downloads folder. Again, without asking. Grrr. (Update: Turn on the status bar and read it; it tells you in advance what that key combination will do as you hover over links. The “open in background” command is Command-Shift-click.)

Well, this is a public beta, so I shouldn’t be expecting too much from it. Let’s hope the final release version turns out better. Much better.

Update: Mark Pilgrim has a comprehensive review of Safari for web designers, with further links to other blogs and articles.


  1. sarge says:

    you don’t like it?

  2. Tim says:

    It is a beta. And it is a pretty good beta at that. I checked out Opera for a while and it was so feature starved it was almost unusable. Chimera is great and I hope Safari adopts some of its features.

    Give it some time, it’ll get there with the typical Apple flair.