Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Apple Safari 4 beta - not for Windows 7

Safari 4 beta work only in Windows XP and Vista. Apple has released to public beta its Safari 4 web browser, and I thought I’d give it a hands-on spin to see what all the fuss is about. Here are my first impressions and review.

Quick and simple. The install file — offered with and without a QuickTime bundle, thankfully — is 25.5 MB. On install, three boxes are auto-checked: Desktop shortcuts, “Install Bonjour” and auto-update. I’m not a fan of auto-check tactics, so if you’re trying to avoid installing Bonjour, for example, don’t get too click-happy too soon. 

The Look
It’s slick. Not extraordinarily pretty, but Safari 4 does attempt to break up the monotony that is Windows with an updated interface that isn’t a complete Mac knockoff like Safari’s previous iteration (those who skin their PCs like Macs will be disappointed). 

The Interface
One thing I notice, at least using XP’s classic theme: the tab boundaries are pretty hard to differentiate. There’s just not enough of a strong visual boundary between them, especially considering how narrow they are horizontally. Otherwise, the tabs are nice, but they automatically expand to fill the entire title bar (no transition) which I don’t like. Some people don’t like the fact that Google Chrome doesn’t immediately auto-fill the tab space; I do, especially when there are only one or two tabs open in the window. 

Apple Safari 4 beta (link 1) 
Apple Safari 4 beta (link 2)

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