Safari Improved

by James R. Stoup Sep 23, 2005

Some of us have been swept up in the Firefox craze and cast Safari aside, never to give it a second glance. And some of us have become fans of Opera, especially since it is now completely free. No more banner ads, hoo-ray! And yet, there are still some like myself who still can find a place in their heart (and on their dock) for Safari. It isn’t the fastest browser (close, but not quite) nor is it the most configurable, but I still like it. Though I freely admit it could be better. And so I started thinking about a list of changes I would like to see in Safari 3.0. And one thing led to another and soon I was scrambling to get it all down before I forgot everything. So, here is my list of desired features for Safari 3.0. Who knows, maybe some of these will make it into OS X 10.5!

First off has to be tabs. Quite simply I want to be able to rearrange them. It seems like such a simple request and yet it hasn’t happened so far. I want to be able to drag them into different orders or drag the tabs off of the window and form a new window from it. I want to have the option of making the tabs change width to fit the page title. In short, I want the tabs to be more dynamic and easier to manipulate.

Advanced Features
The ‘advanced features’ section in the preferences for Safari sucks, quite simply. You are given a whopping 4 options! 4 whole options, isn’t that just grand? Go over to Opera and you will find 14 different sections, each with their own set of advanced options. Now, do most people need 87 different choices in the advanced section? No, probably not. But it is a hell of a lot better than 4.

Bookmark Management
Nothing terribly specific here only the nagging feeling that this could be done better. I like how Safari handles bookmarks, sort of. It’s just sometimes it does quirky things that I can’t figure out. Like the fact that I can’t sort my bookmarks alphabetically. Oh well, maybe Apple will revamp this section making it a little easier on people like me.

Better cookie management, it’s that simple. In Safari you have 3 options for cookies and let me say I don’t think that is nearly enough.

Now, this isn’t a requirement of sorts so much as it is a request. I would like Apple to make it a little easier to customize Safari. Maybe they could include half a dozen different skins so we can choose our favorites. Not a big thing but ever other browser seems to have hundreds of these so I don’t think it’s too much to ask for just a few.

Making it work now
A good site to go to for those of us wanting some of these features now is Pimp My Safari. Head over there and you will find three invaluable utilities, Saft, Safari Stand and Pith Helmet. Check them out because they are wonderful add ons that greatly enhance your web surfing experience. Since Safari 3.0 isn’t here yet this is as close as you can get to the ideal web browser.


  • Thank you evolution!  I thought I was going crazy!  I forgot about the Safari Stand plug-in, mostly all I use it for is to force Safari to open new windows in a new tab instead.  Thanks for clearing things up!

    macfanboy had this to say on Sep 23, 2005 Posts: 4
  • Time hand out some replies:

    Thanks for the heads up on the action button I will have to give that a try.

    Well, you beat me to it. I found that same site and as you said overall Opera is faster though not in every area.

    Andrew Hedges
    I suppose I didn’t make myself very clear on that point, this is what I was trying to say.  Opera has features that Safari doesn’t, and the features they do share, in Opera, you are given far more control.  No, I don’t want features just for the sake of having crap on my screen.  But if I am given a choice between both extremes, in this case, I would like to see a few more options.

    I haven’t seen your signature around these parts for a while, where did you get to?  And how have you been while we’re at it?  I was worried that you had been hit by a truck or something and wouldn’t be back.  I actually wrote an article or two recently but it didn’t feel the same without your comments attached.  But enough with the teary-eyed greetings, let’s talk about your comment for a moment.  I am not bragging about Safari’s simplicity nor am I trying to be a feature creep (bonus points, right here baby!) I was just trying to suggest that Apple might want to take a look at FireFox or Opera and incorporate some of their more robust features.

    James R. Stoup had this to say on Sep 23, 2005 Posts: 122
  • I am not bragging about Safari’s simplicity nor am I trying to be a feature creep<i>

    My comment was directed at Andrew, so no worries.

    <i>I was just trying to suggest that Apple might want to take a look at FireFox or Opera and incorporate some of their more robust features.

    You are aware that the implication here is that there is a product that might have certain features that are BETTER than Apple’s, right?

    Just checking.  smile

    Beeblebrox had this to say on Sep 23, 2005 Posts: 2220
  • Camino is faster than Safari. No question about it. And the longer the browser is open, the greater the difference. Camino deals way better with the ‘too-many-tabs-and-windows’ scenario than Safari, which resorts rather quickly to the ‘put-the-user-on-hold’ beachball. Websites that don’t respond quickly eat Safari’s lunch—Camino hums right along. Firefox is slower than both. And Opera is S-L-O-W I don’t know where anyone got the idea that it’s even in the league.

    Dogger Blue had this to say on Sep 23, 2005 Posts: 34
  • I have realized I need more than one browser. The latest Safari and using the Saft plugin I get a good browser without ads and popups. I keep Comino because it is the most beautiful of all the browsers and it is very fast; The latest version doesn’t even crash. Firefox is there to pick up the slack. It is better than Safari without Saft and Saft does make Safari useless for some sites.

    I love having so many great browsers. Opera is even impressive at this point. OmniWeb is almost as pretty as Camino but doesn’t feel quite as good.

    I am visiting my mother and I am using an old Beige with 9.1 on a dialup. It is nicer than using a two year old PC with XP. But it is not OSX.


    Roger had this to say on Sep 25, 2005 Posts: 2
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