Review: Safari 4 Beta Takes Page From Google Playbook - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Infrastructure // PC & Servers
01:59 PM

Review: Safari 4 Beta Takes Page From Google Playbook

The latest version of Apple's Web browser, now in beta, copies features already available on Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera -- and looks great doing it.

Let's hear it for ripoff artists.

Whenever Microsoft integrates features from Mac OS into Windows, the Apple fans cry foul. "It's a ripoff!" they say. "Apple did it first!"

Likewise, fans of the Opera browser are perpetually claiming Firefox ripped them off.

Safari 4, now available in its first public beta, boasts a cleaner user interface, and tabs above the address bar, like Google Chrome.
(click for image gallery)

Nobody but historians and fans care who did it first; users just want to know who does it best. And copying the other guy isn't cheating. This isn't high school. Copying the competition is how the free market works. Companies improve their products by stealing ideas from the competition and improving them a little bit. When we see companies doing that, we shouldn't cry foul -- we should pat them on the back and say, "Well done!"

Now, Apple isn't having its pockets picked -- they're doing the stealing. And they're slick about it too. The new version of Safari, Version 4, which just shipped beta 1, copies features from Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. And Apple does a fine job of it. Well done, Apple!

Taking Safari 4 Beta 1 For A Spin

When you start Safari 4, you'll notice a couple of big changes right away over the previous version.

Apple moved the tabs. They're now above the address bar, like on Chrome. Also, the opening screen (as with Google Chrome and Opera) shows a grid of images of your most frequently visited Web pages, which Safari gathers by keeping track of where you've surfed to.

The new tab position has a few early adopters ticked off, saying the layout makes it too easy to accidently close a tab by clicking in the wrong place. I didn't have a problem with it -- but I didn't much see the point, either. I find the change harmless, and easy to get used to.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
1 of 5
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

10 Things Your Artificial Intelligence Initiative Needs to Succeed
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/20/2021
Tech Spending Climbs as Digital Business Initiatives Grow
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  4/22/2021
Optimizing the CIO and CFO Relationship
Mary E. Shacklett, Technology commentator and President of Transworld Data,  4/13/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Flash Poll