Apple’s new Safari web browser is the fastest in the world, the company’s famous reality distortion field notwithstanding. Fastest at what? Safari renders web pages faster than any popular browser available, Mac or Windows. Safari is also the fastest browser to back peddle on innovative user interface features. Where are my beloved and improved Safari tabs? Where’s the innovative blue progress bar? Wherefore art thou, Safari innovation?
That Was Then
I use both Firefox and Safari; preferring the huge feature list of the former, and the smooth ease-of-use and beautiful rendering of the latter.
Yes, Firefox is improved and has more features than Dolly has blonde wigs, but no browser is as elegant as Safari, and no browser renders web pages as beautifully or accurately as Safari.
Back in the day, when Safari supplanted Microsoft’s aged Internet Explorer as the browser of choice for Mac users, there wasn’t much browser choice.
Along came Safari, debuting in true Apple style. Elegant. Simple. Nominal preferences. Attractive, useful user interface. Hey, it wasn’t Microsoft. What was not to like?
Apple continued to polish Safari. The tabbed windows were a power users delight. The innovative integrated blue progress bar was elegance personified. Safari was fast and seemed to get faster with every release.
This Is Now
Safari 4 disrupted the status quo. Gone was the lovely blue progress bar. Gone were the typical lower hanging tabs.
Instead, Apple foisted the future upon us with top level tabs with embedded controls which made us think before moving tabs around or deleting tabs. That’s innovation?
Within a few days of using Safari’s new tabs I was hooked. Yes, they took some getting used to. Who wants to think when moving a tab? Who wants to think when deleting a tab? Who wants to look up to see what tabs are open?
Apple changed the nature of tabs, and though it took some effort, many early complainers became early adopters and extolled the virtuous virtues of Apple’s new Safari tab arrangement.
In other words, I and many Safari users learned to love the new tabs, though we decried the demise of the blue progress bar, replaced by the swirling dervish progress circle. Sorry. It was just too subtle for me.
We Hardly Knew Ye
Just in time for OS X Snow Leopard and OS X 3.0 for iPhone is the latest and greatest Safari. What new innovations did Apple surprise the faithful?
Speed, speed, and more speed. Safari is fast, faster, and fastest. Maybe it was those heavy duty tabs that was slowing down our favorite browser so Apple disposed of them.
It’s a case of reverse innovation. Gone were the new top loading tabs and back again were the tabs of yesteryear. Sure, they’re easy to get used too, just not where they should be. On top, where you can see what’s what.
Apple caved in to the browser laymen and ignored the cultured clergy of browserdom and gave back that which they took away. Innovative browser tabs.
What of the beloved and truly original blue browser progress bar? We hardly knew ye! Gone. Instead, Apple gave us innovation of the kind Dr. Frankenstein would be proud, a Frankenbar of Progress that looks as if it was tacked on the morning Safari 4 became final.
Yes, it shows status. Yes, it’s more visible than the circular jerk of the animated status whirl of the beta version, but it was no innovative blue progress bar from years past. I know innovation. Frankenbar of Progress, you’re not innovation. You’re just different. And I don’t mean that in a nice way.
I miss the innovative tabs and the innovative progress bar. I love the speed. I love Safari’s web page rendering. I predict a bright future. I long for memories of innovative features to return. Today, it’s all about speed.