Using Safari On Windows? You Better Think Twice…

Apple launched its Safari version 3 back in June 2007 and I do not have the time to try it then. Over the holiday period late last year, I finally downloaded the Safari for Windows and installed it in my Window XP machine.

After hours of surfing and testing the Safari, I can only say that I am not impressed by it.

Being a seasoned Firefox user, I would say that my experience with Safari was rather annoying. Its lack of some basic features makes the whole surfing experience a deterring one.

Safari for windows screenshot1

Where is the Home page?

First of all, the ‘Home’ icon is not included in the toolbar by default. You have to physically add it from the toolbar library. Instead, there is a ‘report bug’ icon taking up the ‘Home’ icon position on the toolbar. Apparently, Apple thinks that the users like to ‘report bug’ more than going to the ‘Home’ page. Is it because they are expecting a lot of bugs in this release, or am I wrong?

Forgot the URL?

There is no drop-down option in the address bar to view your recently visited pages. If you have forgotten the url of the site that you wanted to visit, you can’t get it in the address bar. You will have to go to the history to retrieve it.

Where is my new tab?

In Firefox, IE7 and Opera, I can easily open a new tab by double clicking on the tab bar. I even have a ‘new tab’ icon in Firefox toolbar where I can launch a new tab with a click. All these features are clearly missing in Safari. Double clicking on the tab bar DOES NOT launch a new tab and you don’t find any ‘new tab’ icon in the limited toolbar library. To open a new tab, you have to press Ctrl+T or File -> New Tab. I think Apple can do better than this, isn’t it so?

What plugins do I need?

Safari does not install Flash plugin by default. That is fine with me since most browsers don’t do that too. The annoyance is when you visit a flash website, there is no links to direct you to download the plugin. Firefox definitely does it better than Safari in this case.

Safari for windows screenshot2

File Downloading

Downloading of file is pretty straight forward as all the files are saved to the desktop by default. The only problem is: you can’t change the save destination on the fly. There are instances where I want to save music files to my music folder and PDF files to ebooks folder. In Safari, you don’t really have a choice. The only way I can overcome this is to right click at the file and select save linked file as… I would appreciate if it has a function “ask me where I want to save” whenever I click a download link. To me, anything that requires me to right click and select an option is considered primitive.

Safari crashes…again…and I want my tab back

Safari crashes more frequently than Firefox and without any reason. It crashes when I am downloading a zipped file, when I opened too many tabs and when I load many websites concurrently. Worst of all, it don’t restore your tabs when you relaunch the browser. While there is a function that allows you to reopen all your windows from last session, it is simply too troublesome.

Fortunately, there are also some good things about Safari:

Built in RSS reader

The built in RSS reader is unique and gives you great control over how you want to read the feed. The nifty sidebar consists of a slider you can use to determine the length of each post. If you just want to glance through the feed, you can drag the slider all the way to the left and show only the headlines. You can also choose to read the feed by date, source and title.

Safari for windows screenshot3

Snapback

Snapback allow you to set an anchor point where you can return to later. Just imagine you are searching result in Google. You can view the result and click the snapback icon (beside the blue RSS icon in the address bar) to get back to the search result page. It is also useful for returning to the home page of a site.

Inline search

Safari makes a good effort to differentiate the search terms and the rest of the content. When a search is performed, the background is dimmed down and the search terms is highlighted in a bright yellow font. The animation also help to make the search terms stand out from the rest.

Safari for windows screenshot4

Conclusion

Safari claims that it is the best browsers in the World. In my opinion, it is far from that. Unless Apple improves the user interfaces, it won’t stand a chance against IE and Firefox. Meanwhile, I will still stick to my Firefox.

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