Apple was wildly criticized when it launched Safari for Windows. That first version was so unstable and buggy it didn’t cause the best of impressions.
But things have changed a lot since then, and today we see the release of a far more stable, robust and reliable Safari 4 Beta. The new version features the same minimalist gray interface most Mac users love – not me, sorry – but hides a few aces up it sleeve that make it really appealing, even for those of us who have a lifelong relationship with Firefox.
But that’s not all. The new Safari 4 makes use of the well-known Cover Flow feature and uses it to display websites listed in your bookmarks or browsing history in a much nicer way. Besides, every time you open a new tab you get a special document called Top Sites with all your recently visited web pages.
On the downside, I still found problems with this new Safari: thumbnails in Top Sites didn’t load until you visited the site, and the Cover Flow browsing system didn’t work properly either. What’s more, I even managed to make the browser crash when trying to import bookmarks from Firefox. Finally, I didn’t find Safari that user-friendly, especially regarding tab management: they look really weird in the title bar, and it’s difficult to drag them around because you need to click on a small top corner on the tab.
Safari has improved a lot in stability and reliability, and is still an amazingly fast browser. However, there are still a few details in this version that keep the program far from perfection.