Safari 4 Released

I never thought I’d see the day that I would blog about an Apple product… I just took a good look at the newly released Safari 4, and I must say that it looks… impressive to say the least.

Before I get into further details, let me first say that the Safari 4 interface looks strikingly familiar. As a web developer, I have to make sure that my websites look the same across all web browsers. That means that I have most of the browsers in the world on my computer: Mozilla Firefox (my favorite), Flock, Orca, Opera, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer (why Is that piece of junk called a web browser anyway?), Konqueror, Epiphany, and so on… Now I’ll get to the point: Safari is basically Google Chrome under a different name. Chrome introduced the minimalistic user interface (back and forward buttons on the right side, an address/search bar in thr middle, and only two menus–“Page” and “Settings”–on the left. The rest of the screen was devoted to displaying web page content. Apple’s Safari 4 looks identical to Chrome except the search bar is a separate text field in Safari. The only thing that Apple did to make it different was throw in a couple of glitzy effects: Chrome’s “Most visited sites” page has been given a 3D effect and has been renamed to “top sites”. I must admit that the bookmark management is better in Safari than in Chrome, but I’m just mad that Apple had to steal another idea and call it their own. Don’t even get me started on the fact that Apple stole Compiz from Linux…

On a more positive note, Apple’s new release of Safari 4 has full support for many new and exciting (for developers like me) web features like JavaScript, CSS 3, HTML 5, etc. In fact, Safari scores a perfect ‘100’ on the Acid3 Test, and it is the first web browser to do so. However, Apple proudly boasts that Safari is the “World’s Fastest Web Browser,” but I still have yet to see their speed stats hold true on any machine: Gmail runs faster on Chrome and Firefox than Safari; Safari takes the longest to load on my machine at (28 seconds—22 more than Firefox); and Safari takes up the most RAM of all browsers on my computer.

Safari has jumped from it’s position next to Internet Explorer up next to Chrome on my browser ranking scale, but it still has to get through Opera and Flock before it has even a remote chance of replacing Firefox as my favorite browser. If Safari were truly as fast as Apple says it is, did not take up so much RAM, and had a huge database of add-ons that enable you to do anything, then it might have a shot at being my favorite.

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