One Simple Feature Cost’ Safari 5 The Browser War

The title is a bit much, but It’s only personal.

Apple’s Safari 5 is lacking some of the most simply implemented features that are the heart of the Firefox and Chrome browsers. Some even features that Safari has had in the past, but for some reason ditched them. The features are simple, but crucial for a workflow environment.

There is actually some irony in the reason I have for posting this. I was complaining on my Twitter account about how I have to ‘Force Quit’ Safari 5 in Lion at least 3-4 times a day. Those ‘2 cents’ on Twitter wasn’t enough for me. (I always turn my 2 cents into 10, hence this blog) It brought out a few other flaws in the app when I began really thinking about it.

I also stated how I wanted to move to Google Chrome, but it’s a pain sometimes to get the bookmarks over while keeping it looking clean. I like to see all of my bookmarks in a small window. I hate that arrow button with a list to the bookmarks that can’t fit. It’s a pet peeve i suppose. It’s no biggy; I switched to Chrome and got it situated.

After switching back to Chrome, I immediately realized that Safari used to be quite like Chrome in a way. Now it is not. Apple actually took away a feature that i used all the time. Allow me to explain.


Safari 4 Had It

When you for some reason, thought you were using an awesome browser, and attempted to use the address bar as the search bar—Safari would throw at you a, “Safari can’t find the server” page. Here is my point. Under that notice, you would see a small search bar! A search bar!

“You can use Google to search for your text.”

This was perfect when you forgot to hit the tab key to get into the actual search field, in the toolbar. Safari would give you a quick chance to redeem your search instead of clicking back up into the toolbar.

When you’re in a workflow environment, and have to get to a site really quick for a photo, or a piece of text (for, say, a blog post like this?) you could resume your workflow quickly if you make that mistake. This actually changed the way you browse—because you wouldn’t have to use the search bar. You could just use the address bar, and hit the tab key. Bam. Done.

Chrome and Firefox HAVE It

You know, that big bar up top called the “smart-bar” or the “Chrome-bar?” Yeah. No need to ever use the search bar. Chrome doesn’t even have one! It doesn’t need it. Therefor Chrome is a nice step towards the perfect browser for a workflow environment.

If you’re a blogger, or a designer, or anything where you can say you have a ‘workflow’—this can actually be a big deal to you. It is to me in those times where i just want to jump in to a site real quick and snag a quick quote, or photo.

Safari 5? Where Is It? I’m Bailing!

For some stupid reason, the new version of Safari decided not to own it. Only then did I realize how much that small, simple feature meant to me. It was almost this feature alone that caused me to switch back to Google Chrome.

Developers at Apple are known for paying attention to every detail. Usually, also in a workflow environment! Workflow is why the Mac is what it is today. To make everything more convenient for the user. Almost all of their collaborating software is ‘workflow-oriented’ nowadays. All these suites—Final Cut Studio, iLife, iWork, Logic Studio—all work hand-in-hand to help each other, and to make your workflow much easier.

Apple Needs To Play Catch-Up

Apple, with Safari, is focusing on mostly performance. I haven’t seen a drastic Graphical User Interface change since they simply changed the ‘theme’ from Brushed Metal, to a streamlined, smooth Grey. It seems they’re just trying to up their JavaScript benchmarks—which I don’t think they’re on top with anyway.

Google Chrome by far, i believe, is the fastest browser out there. I’m pretty sure that’s a fact.

What brought me into Chrome originally, was the ability to give every tab a separate process. This allows the browser to survive as a whole, if say, one website crashes it. The browser will still be operable, even during a complete memory dump. (which Chrome rarely has compared to Safari)

Safari on the other hand, shits on me every day of the week. At least 3-4 times as said above. Memory dumps are its specialty. It rarely happens with Chrome or Firefox. But I think Chrome takes the cake when it comes to surviving in the OS.

Another thing Safari needs to adopt from Chrome, and Firefox. Sync. Maybe with MobileMe?

Overall: The new version of Chrome seems more optimized for Lion than the native browser! You only see constant crashes like this when you’re using an Alpha or Beta version of a piece of software. For a brand new Golden Master release of a browser native to the OS it came with is very rare. I’ve never seen this before.

Readers: Have you experienced these same problems with Safari 5? Could it just be 5.1? What is your browser of choice? Leave some comments.


2 thoughts on “One Simple Feature Cost’ Safari 5 The Browser War

  1. Pingback: Firefox 7 vs. Safari 5.1 in Mac OSX Lion – RAM Usage Stats [VERSUS] « @zakkforchilli

  2. Pingback: Learning Portfolio 2 Consistency | bfpascoe learning portfolio

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