Safari 4 Beta

Apple released the beta of Safari 4, the newest version of their web browser today. It saves a lot of screen space by moving the web page tabs from a separate bar into the window title bar. It takes a little getting used to, but makes a lot of sense from a usability standpoint. Web page addresses are now associated visually with the web page being viewed, rather than all the tabs.

On the other hand, as a beta, I have noticed two very huge problems:

  • XCode doesn’t work with the beta installed.
  • It is no longer possible to copy a webpage (or part of one) in Safari and copy it into Mail.app. It was superior to other web browsers because it would copy the images and text into the email rather than just a plain text version of the text.

I also noticed a lot of web pages are much slower to load than they were before, despite claims to the new Safari being much faster. This might have to do with my crappy internet connection, but it makes me wonder.

The Mac version of Safari 3 seemed to pick up some abilities from the iPhone version, especially in the case of the Internet connection not working at a particular time. If my Internet connection was down, it would wait until it came back up to load the pages I wanted rather than just say the Internet was down and do nothing (like other web browsers). That is a very useful feature on a mobile phone, given the varying connection quality as one moves around a city or out of it. It is also useful when a lot of people, some using bittorrent, share the same slow DSL connection, since that simulates the variability and unreliability of a mobile network.

With the interface changes, I definitely look forward to the final version.

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