Freshly Squeezed Reviews: Safari Technology Preview
Ever since Moses came down from the mount, all browsers have functioned in the same manner and had a common layout. There’s your URL field, tabs, and extensions.
If you haven’t tried it or much less heard about it, Apple has made a few changes to their longtime browser with several popular/unpopular changes.
Apple has decided to alter some of the time honored iconic look and function. And this has caused many to get their knickers in a twist.
After using the new layout for the past several weeks, I have a wholly different opinion than most. Let me explain both positions.
Bits of the browser as we know it have been thrown into the abyss. Instead of dangling tabs, we now have lozenges that expand and contract depending on how many sites you have open. As you fill the header with more and more sites, the URL field expands and contracts, like the site bookmarks. A good number of users find this unacceptable.
To be honest, I don’t understand what the bother is about. Is it change? Your muscle memory will have to be retrained a bit (a minor learning curve, if that) and you’ll have to get used to things looking and behaving somewhat differently than we’ve grown accustomed to.
Other than that, I fail to notice any difference overall.
Personally, I find it to be a boon to my workflow and organization. I, as most, don’t regularly root through my bookmarks, some over a decade old. Once and again, I will make some effort to reign in my collection by hitting a link in the sidebar only to find that site shutdown about seven years ago. And even if the site is still around, it was necessary only at the time I needed it way back when and is no longer of any use to me.
Like most, I tend to have an obscene number of sites open at any given time. And when I run out of space, I create pin after pin. If you’re using Chrome on a laptop, you know what that does to your battery life.
The new Safari has a feature that I believe will help me from creating more clutter. It’s called ’groups.’
Let’s say I’m writing a review. I want the product’s landing site open so I can grab a blockquote from the company as to what their product is all about. I need a second page open to gather graphics. I need a third page open for specs and such.
Now that would normally mean I have three tabs hanging from the header. But Apple is trying to save me from myself. I can save all three tabs as a ‘group.’ When I return to further work on the project, I simply click on the ‘group’ and all three tabs simultaneously open! For me at least, I can’t tell you how much this speeds up my workflow. And when I’m done with that review, I merely delete the group as opposed to having three more bookmarks growing old in my sidebar.
I’m going to keep using it as my main browser. The’ve rolled back some of the new features because of customer complaints. But I think they should give it a bit more time and see how it changes your workflow.
And if you don’t like some or all of the new features, Apple has heard the blood-curdling screams and let’s you readjust your browser to your liking in preferences.
If you’re interested, give the preview a go.
©2021 Frank Petrie