Thanks to Apple, the age old war between browsers is being kicked up a notch. But I don’t think Firefox has anything to worry about just yet, much less Internet Explorer. Firefox is and has been my browser of choice for years. And after giving Safari 3 (which, like 90% of OS X applications and Google products, is currently in beta) a test run, I can safely say that I won’t be making the switch any time soon. (That beta comment was a joke, btw.)
Don’t get me wrong. I want to like Safari. I’ve tried it off and on for some time now. And version 3 feels much faster and responsive. Unfortunately, Safari is missing too many things I’ve come to rely on.
First, there’s no way to limit or kill animated gifs in Safari 3. I hate animated gifs. In Firefox, I just hit the escape key and all the animated gifs stop.
Second, trying to access content which requires authentication against Active Directory isn’t bulletproof. As a matter of fact, on Windows, it consistently crashes Safari 3.
Third, Safari 3 won’t remember your open tabs. When you quit, it’ll remind you that your quitting with multiple tabs open. The next time you start Safari, your tabs are gone. But hey, at least you were warned.
Update: Yes, I know about History -> Reopen Windows From Last Session. And yes, it technically negates my third point. But I think it’s lame that I have to force Safari to do this. At a minimum, it should be an option in Preferences.
Now, there are third-party plugins you can install which will give Safari much of this functionality. My experience with them has been iffy at best. Almost everyone I talk with recommends PithHelmet or Saft. However, I have a hard time justifying paying $6 - $10 for a plug-in that provides what should be part of any browser’s basic functionality. Would you purchase a plug-in that let your word processor display words in italics? Probably not, because that should be part of its basic functionality. Yes, my argument assumes much, but I consider these things necessary in any browser.
So, while I’m excited to see Safari moving into the Windows realm, until at least these basics are met, I don’t see it gaining any real foothold. At least in my house.