Installation was painless and it hasn’t (so far) taken over all my file associations to become the default browser. It automatically picked up both my IE and Firefox bookmarks too which is handy.
Could this be the first step into tempting me away from my Wintel bias and onto the Mac bandwagon? First impressions after the jump…
I can’t really verify Apple’s claims that it’s faster than the other browsers because frankly I’m waiting on the connection more often than I’m waiting on the page to render. I can confirm that it’s certainly not sluggish though, it never felt slow. Here’s the results of 10 minutes bouncing around the web:
- Fast to load. Firefox is turning into bloatware these days (and it’s getting more unstable as time goes on too). Safari, in it’s current form, is pretty quick to load.
- Seems pretty compatible. The CG admin page works (I’m typing this up with Safari) and a quick roundup of other sites doesn’t show any glaring rendering errors
- Clean UI. That’ll be a matter of debate I’m sure but I rather like the way it gives you the maximum amount of space for browsing. The page loading / progress indicator is superimposed over the address bar and the bookmarks bar is very slimline.
- Nice autofill – by default, you get what looks like a fairly comprehensive Autofill function for forms. Which is just as well, because none of your standard plugins like Roboform are going to work (see “not so good” below)
Not so good
- Dialogs have the OK and Cancel buttons reversed. Perhaps this is the Apple standard, but it breaks the Windows default of putting Cancel last so you need to get out of that habit of clicking on the bottom right for the “Oops, I didn’t mean that” option.
- No Google Toolbar. In fact no plugin compatability at all, which could be a deal breaker for some people. You get the standard “Google Search” option on the toolbar, but the Toolbar extentions that give you GMail, Google bookmarks, predictive searching, etc. aren’t going to work. It’s nothing you can’t do in other ways but I’ve gotten used to having it there… And don’t even think about things like Roboform or the rather useful context menu for Bugmenot
- Probably just a beta hiccup but the back button on my mouse doesn’t work. This is more than mildly annoying…
So… what’s the verdict? It’s got me interested enough that I’ll stick with it for a bit and see how I get on. It’ll take some work to make me swap permanently but so far the experience is positive.