Safari 3.0 Beta For Windows: The Right Tool for the Job?
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Apple claims its new Safari 3.0 Windows Web browser loads pages faster than both IE 7 and Firefox 2.0. Here’s a look at the new Windows Safari interface and an overview of its many new features.
The Safari Setup program, about 8MB, features a simple installer.
Safari License Agreement
When installing the Safari Web browser for Windows, users must accept Apple’s licensing agreement.
When installing the Safari Web browser in Windows, users can choose to include Apple’s Bonjour service (which assists in locating network resources) and the Apple Software Update application (which helps keep Apple applications current with the latest updates).
Once users specify installation options, Safari installs itself.
Safari installation confirmation
Upon completing installation, the Safari setup program displays this confirmation screen.
The Safari Web browser
Safari loads pages quickly in Windows. By default, it’s set to feature the Apple Web site as the user’s homepage.
The TechRepublic Web site in Safari
Safari has come a long way, displaying wide varieties of sites properly without error. Here you can see how Safari displays the TechRepublic Web site.
Users configure Safari settings by clicking Preferences from the Edit menu (or by pressing the CTRL and , keys simultaneously).
From the General menu, users set the default Web browser, default search engine, specify how new Windows open, set the home page, clear browser History, specify where downloaded files are to be saved, clear the list of downloaded items and specify how links are to be opened.
Safari Appearance Preferences
From the Appearance menu, users configure font settings and whether images are to be displayed when pages open.
Safari Bookmarks Preferences
From the Bookmarks page, users configure bookmarks settings. For example, users specify whether Bonjour is included in the Bookmarks Bar, whether the Bookmarks Bar is included in the Bookmarks Menu, and more.
Safari Tabs Preferences
From the Tabs preferences menu, users configure tab behavior. Users can specify that holding the CTRL key while clicking a link forces a new tab, among other options.
Safari RSS Preferences
From the RSS page, users specify whether update articles automatically appear in the Bookmarks Bar and Bookmarks Menu, how often Safari should check for updates, the color in which to display new articles and how often articles should be removed.
Safari AutoFill Preferences
From the AutoFill page, users specify whether AutoFill should use information from the user’s Address Book card to automatically complete Web forms and whether AutoFill should help complete user name and password fields and other forms.
Safari Security Preferences
Safari Advanced Preferences
From the Advanced menu, users specify accessibility features, including the smallest font size that should be used. Style Sheet settings and proxy settings are also configured from the Advanced Preferences tab.
Built-in Safari Pop-Up Blocker
By default, Safari is set to automatically block pop-up menus. The feature is easily disabled, if desired. Users need only click Edit and uncheck the Block Pop-Up Windows option.
Clicking Safari’s Bookmark icon (from the Bookmark toolbar) displays the menu you see here. The Bookmarks page is used to add, edit and remove bookmarked sites and RSS feeds.
Safari RSS Feeds
Safari makes it easy to configure and maintain RSS feeds.
Safari RSS Feeds
Right-clicking any RSS feed provides several options from a pop-up menu, including Open, Open In A New Window, Open In A New Tab, Show In Collections, Copy, and Delete.
Multiple Tabs In Safari
Just like Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2.0, Safari readily supports surfing the Web using multiple tabs.
Safari Installed Plug-ins
Users can view information regarding each installed Safari plug-in using the Installed Plug-ins feature. To access the menu seen here, just click Help and select Installed Plug-ins.
Safari Bug Reporting
Apple developers added a bug icon to Safari’s toolbar. The goal is to make it easy for users to report problematic Web sites.
When encountering errors, users can click the bug icon (or click Help and select Report Bugs To Apple) to call this menu and provide Apple with additional information regarding the problem.
Private Browsing In Safari
Safari includes a Private Browsing feature. When enabled, users can surf the Web without storing history, download, AutoFill or search information.
The Private Browsing feature is enabled by clicking Edit | Private Browsing and clicking OK.
If Private Browsing is disabled, Safari tracks users’ browser activity within its History, as shown here.
Safari's Download History
Just as Safari tracks browser activity, so, too, does it track download history. To clear a file from the Download history, users can right-click the item in question and select Remove From List.
Safari also includes a new Snapback feature. From the History menu, users can mark a page for Snapback.
When marked as a Snapback page, that page can be quickly accessed again. To quickly return to the Snapback page (marked by an orange circle with a left-pointing arrow, as seen in the Address bar here), users can press the CTRL+ALT+P keys simultaneously.
Safari Snapback Navigation
Users can set and access Snapback pages using the Mark Page For Snapback and Page Snapback links found within the History menu.
In an unscientific study, a handful of common Web sites were visited using the Firefox 2, Internet Explorer 7 and Safari 3 Web browsers. True to Apple’s word, Safari loaded each site most quickly.
With its ease of use, clean interface, simple but powerful security settings and widespread compatibility, Apple’s Safari 3 Web browser, while just in beta, is the Right Tool for most any Web surfing project.