Safari is a browser that exists in two different worlds. For Mac users, its right up there with Firefox, but many Windows users have never even heard of the browser. Safari has shown a very small but steady rise in its popularity over the last few years, and while it’s one of the least used of the mainstream browsers, it still packs a punch in terms of features. With Safari 4 recently released, we take a look at what Safari can do for you.
Installation and Setup
Safari installs to around 64MB, which is huge compared to just about any other browser around, although still a reasonably small amount of space for most people. The program uses between 30-60MB of memory after a few hours of reasonably heavy use, around the same amount you might expect Firefox to use, although not as good as the results we’ve seen from Opera.
Ease of Use
In the past, Safari has always been seen as a bit of a underwhelming browser in the Windows world. Indeed the first version that was ported to Microsoft’s operating system – mostly in an attempt to help iPhone development – was a rather bare bones attempt that worked well but didn’t set the browser world alight in the same way the release of Google’s Chrome did.
Safari 4 has redressed this balance however, keeping the stability of program but also adding a range of new features that have brought Safari more up to speed with what people expect from a modern browser.
It features a perfect score on the Acid 3 web standards test (Opera manages this as well, but IE8 completely fails) and compliance with various technology such as HTML 5, CSS animation and CSS effects – all next generation standards.
The program is also very accessible although some of its most useful features are more geared towards the Mac OS X version.
The program is very ‘Mac’ like in its overall theme and style, which is bound to put many Windows users off from the start, although it’s quite configurable. The 3D quick launch home page looks great, even if is only a more stylish version of Operas ‘Speed Dial’ feature.
Overall, Safari 4 has brought Safari back to the game and turned it into a serious contender not only for Apple fans but also die hard Windows users.