Although I’m an avid FireFox user, I’ve decided to jump on this Safari 4 (public beta) bandwagon to see what it’s all about. I really enjoy FireFox’s developer features and add-ons, but I’m going to see what Apple has to offer with its new Safari. Although all my bookmarks and RSS feeds are saved in FireFox (along with cool features like StumbleUpon – for finding and sending links; Web Developer Tools – toolbar showing information like: color, css, tables, dimensions of items, full bread crumb of items, etc, etc; FireBug – for editing source and CSS to view changes; and whatever other add-ons and tools I have on here.)

But, I’ve got to give Safari 4 a try. All I really have to compare this to is FireFox 3.0.7 (most up-to-date at time of writing) so I may be a bit biased. Also, there may be add-ons or other plugins I can install (and just don’t know about) that would fix/mimic the FireFox features I’m accustomed to. If you know any, please drop me a comment. AND, I wasn’t a big Safari 3 user, so I’m sure lots of the features I ‘notice’ in Safari 4, may be old. It’ll be fun though!

S4 = Safari 4 (public beta)
FF = FireFox 3.0.7

I was first presented with a glassy itunes-esque ‘top sites’ panel which looked cool, but I couldn’t think of any real use for it. (image 1)

Clicking search history pulled everything from… way back it seems. (image 2)

This function could be a nice way to present comps to a client?

New tab feature up top – add tabs by clicking far right plus sign. (image 3)

I mistook the ‘report bugs to apple’ icon with FireFox’s ‘firebug’ icon – I got excited there for a sec. You can change it though! (image 4)

The Safari search feature is still pretty simple – I’ve found I really don’t need to ‘manage search engines’ in FF. (image 5)

Safari give suggestions, recent searches, and matches on that page in the search field. (image 7)

The ‘find’ feature in S4 is pretty nice… but you can’t ‘highlight all’ like FF. (image 7)

I dragged a (right) tab corner and made a genie window – that’s pretty neat. As well as re-arranging tabs.

I think I still like the drop down function better in FireFox, but I may change my mind ie. S4 starts from that item and shows the entire drop down, FF drops from the bottom. (image 8)

Hmm – I can’t tab off a drop down either – we use Time Fox (Function Fox program) to keep up with our hours, so I’m constantly selecting drop down menus – FF allows you to ‘tab off’ a selected item (instead of going to click that item). (related image 8)

I’ve always liked the bottom ‘tool bar’ in FF because I can see what something links to before I click it. I get less spam that way and actually get what link I want most the time. And, it’s great for checking link locations while developing sites. (image 9)

I like the FF ‘list all tabs’ feature better – happens in S4 at 20 tabs; FF happens after 1. (image 10)

I like the S4 favicon area better – FF made everyone have to update to solid images or gif/pngs in a gray area. S4 is still in the white search bar. (image 11)

The S4 ‘view source’ is horrible – FF source is actually color coded like DreamWeaver would view. And S4 has no ‘view media’ like FF. (image 12)

You can’t reopen a closed tab (like FF), just a window – S4. There may be some add-on I don’t know about though?

I do like that pdf’s open in the browser vs downloading to drive.

And, there’s no FireFox for iphones, just Safari

Well, that’s my “brief” usability overview. Seriously though, Safari has always been a no fluff, clean and easy to use browser. I much prefer people use that than any Internet Explorer browser… please!

I’ll still use FireFox over Safari because FireFox lends itself to web developing users. And the add-on list for FireFox is never ending (and has a great search feature):

There are some nice Safari 4 add-ons as well (I didn’t find an ‘official’ Safari addon page):

So, what are your thoughts Safari? Were you previously using FireFox? Say if you’re a web developer as well.

Download Safari:

Full list of Safari 4 features:

And of course…
I’d prefer if you download FireFox: