Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Some thoughts on Safari 4 beta

The hot issue in the Apple world is today's release of Safari 4 beta. And a cracker it is too. Fast, stylish, and standards compliant—I ran it through the Acid 3 test a few times, and it clocked in at somewhere around 1.4 seconds. Okay, I had to remove all my plug-ins to get it to launch (I've heard many people say that the problem is with the excellent Glims), but having done that it even works with the nightly builds of Webkit (at least on Mac), which is awesome to say the least.

And it's full of new features... which I can't help feeling I've seen before. Tabs on top? Most people are comparing this to Google's Chrome, but surely I've seen it before in Opera? The top sites screen? That reminds me of Opera's Speed Dial. Full page zoom? Er... Opera? Cover flow-based history search? That's History Flow from SafariStand this time. The smart search field? Glims, and the infamous Inquisitor (which I won't link to). And there may be more, but I've only be playing with S4B for a short while.

Now, I think that all of these features are great additions to a great browser. But you really do have to wonder whether imitation is the sincerest form of flattery... or something else.

UPDATE: Jason Snell on the same.

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