Archive for the ‘Apple Apps’ Category

Safari for Windows is downloaded 150 trillion times in 48 hours. Nations weep.

June 15, 2007

As a web designer, the news of Apple extending its browser to Windows users was an instant thorn in my side. Yet another browser to test on, DAMN IT! You can then imagine my distress today in learning that over 1 million copies have been downloaded by Windows users.

I understand why Apple is doing it – the iPhone has Safari on it so Apple needs to start spreading the Safari brand so it has more cachet in the general populace. I’m sure the iPhone will eventually be offering some synchronization tools that will just work more smoothly and with special bonuses if owners are using the Apple browser. Eventually, I bet, like iTunes, the iPhone will REQUIRE Safari to be installed.

Also, Apple, like all corporations, wishes they could own everything. John Lilly, COO of Mozilla, goes into THAT issue more deeply and accurately in a good read here:

What I don’t understand is why Safari isn’t a great browser. It would seem like something Apple could do with it’s eyes closed, but I’ve never cared for it. Here are a few reasons why:

  • The bland silver slab interface is too heavy and kind of depressing.
  • The stop button drives me crazy. Why is it an “X.” On computers and on the web the X has come to represent “close window” – it is inherited from people’s familiarity with the Windows interface. Even the OS X Finder’s red close button has an X in it. In the first version of Safari, I went so far as to go into the resources and swap it out with a stop sign icon I made.
  • The handling of RSS is too simplistic and doesn’t give readers enough options for organizing how they read subscriptions. I use Google Reader, which is a fucking rock star program.
  • Thank god Safari 3.0 now supports rich text editing. I had completely stopped using Safari in the past because I couldn’t do something as simple as “bold” in Gmail. No thanks.
  • The Aqua interface does not work well on web pages. I seriously dislike that Safari gives sites the Mac OS X look. The glowing jelly buttons and scrollbars do not hold up well when resized and disallow web programmers to colorize or alter those elements in any way. Radio buttons and checkboxes too – yuck! The internet is its own thing, I don’t want it aquafied.

You can further imagine my feeling then, when I downloaded the Safari 3 beta for Mac and it worked like dog shit on my machine. Slow, clunky, buggy. Exactly the opposite of Steve Job’s praise that it was 100 bazillion times faster than IE and Firefox. Um, ok, maybe in Crazy Cupertino Prototype World.

Maybe Apple should perfect the product on their own platform before releasing it to the Windows world. I’ll be sticking with my trusty Firefox, I’ve got a lot of issues with that too – but at least the Firefox development community’s heart is in the right place (i.e. not in my wallet).