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Surfing with Windows Safari: and missing Firefox already June 12, 2007

Posted by NAyK in Blogging, Confessions, First Impressions, Internet, Mac, Reviews, Software, Windows, Wordpress.
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Call it being familiar with the familiar, but I just didn’t like the feel of the Safari browser. Now, I’m not a Firefox fan-boy. I really am not. I like Opera a lot, but it doesn’t open many of the sites I need. Firefox opens most of them, so I use it the most. IE7 obviously opens all, but come on!

Recommended only to people who want to simplify their browsing experience, not enhance it.

Installing Safari wasn’t that hard, perhaps it was too easy. Because once I went to the site, downloaded and UNCHECKED the default Apple software/update options which are really irritating, I waited for a long time for something to happen, and nothing did. Later I realised that it had already finished installing, but just failed to inform me.

Then, when I opened it, found that it did NOT ask me to import bookmarks as it promised. Nor could I figure out how to do it. Perhaps I lost out by not choosing a default install option during install, but already I was disappointed.

Safari’s default look was compact and cute, but a little too morbid (grey) in contrast to Firefox’ orange-y look (which is not thaaat great either, btw). Also, the default font made my webpages look heavier (for font rendition images see this link. But there some cute animation effects though (very Mac-ish, I’m told). It makes a funny (in a good way) addition to browsing for a (little!) while.

When I finally started using Safari, I found a few problems/discomforts. For instance, WordPress does not seem to support Safari for when you go to Code view, it messes up your new paragraph spaces. And even if you correct them, the post will be displayed without para spaces. (I had to correct this post in Firefox after typing it in Safari). Since that may not be Safari’s problem, I guess that’s not so important. I also had a tough time finding the homepage. I was shocked to discover that I had to enable the homepage icon (because I can’t image a browser without the ability to go to a homepage). Perhaps because this is beta, the designers probably felt that the crash report icon is more important than go to home page.

Actually, the biggest problem was that I found myself immediately missing Firefox extensions the most. Now I know the Mac is loaded with Extensions for Safari, I just couldn’t find any Windows ones. Thus, Windows Safari’s claim to be fasted web browser needs to be measured against an extended Firefox’s ability to handle multiple tasks, like blog-editing, calculating, video-downloading, and most importantly multiple GMail Account background checking. Plus, I couldn’t find a Showcase like feature to view multiple tabs, which was both surprising and disappointing. (IE7 even has it by default!)

Safari did have a few promising features. The increasing of the form field option was attractive, and the ability to send a quick screenshot.

Evidently, Firefox has become more of an application rather than just a ‘browser’. And so the ‘simple’ browsing of Windows Safari was actually a little too simple. I wanted more from my most used application on my computer, and Safari just could not fit the bill. To be fair, Safari is still in Beta, and the more it’s out on Windows, the more extensions it will get. But for now, I think I’ll stick to Firefox.

Summary: Very neat interface, especially in its compact use of space. Though heavy fonts and morbid default look may scare a few. The browser feels limited, lacks easy access to widgets or extensions and makes you wish you were using Firefox instead. Recommended only to people who want to simplify their browsing experience, not enhance it.

Comments»

1. Jason - June 12, 2007

I am a mac, linux, and windows users. I use my mac for most everything. safari is one of the browsers that just grows on you in my opinion. Then again I don’t really use all that many extensions in Firefox (FF) so I am getting almost the same experience between the two. I like safari because it’s not at all bulky, it displays more of the page then IE and FF. but don’t get me wrong I love FF, I user FF ans Safari both equally.

2. NAyK - June 12, 2007

To Jason: I have to give it to Safari for Screen Space usage. They definitely do a good job there. I use about 8 FF extensions, and of them (only) two are indispensable.

3. Brian H - August 4, 2009

What I want is Tab Mix Plus!! (Rows of tabs, rather than scrolling faarrr off-screen).


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