Finally, Apple announced a new Safari web browser for MS Windows.
I downloaded one and tried using it on my Windows Vista x64 edition installed on my MacBook with Intel GMA chipset, which is a graphic chipset may people don’t like because they prefer nvidia’s.
It turned out that the Safari 4 beta was quite fast. On a MacBook, Internet Explorer 7 is very fast, but the Safari 4 feels faster.
However, I would like to pick what I like the most.
- Integrated look for the Windows
- No more blurry font rendering
- Very clean, minimal style GUI but quite functional and covering most of needs.
- Integrated behavior like F4 for showing/hiding menu bar
- Probably matured Objective-C/Cocoa environment for the Windows
- Good use of the CoverFlow
For 1, it doesn’t look like mimicking Mac OS X on a Windows any more. It feels and looks like “born for MS Windows”.
For 2, the font rendering is very clean. They mentioned that it now uses Windows font, and users can change if they want to use Mac anti-aliased fonts. Many Koreans complaint about the font rendering of the Safari for Windows before. Now, they don’t need to complain about it.
For 3, Oh!
For 4, Pressing Function 4 key shows and hides menu bar of the Safari like other Windows apps on a Windows Vista. How did they do this? I don’t think they used Windows API.
For 5. I have lots things to say. I hope you remember what I wrote at my egloos blog before. I said that it looked like that Apple was preparing Cocoa/Objective-C development environment for the Windows. Yeah.. It is the OpenStep for the Windows, so to speak. Again, with the Safari 4 beta, it seems to be clearer. Take a look at these screenshots.
It is clear that the Safari Beta 4 is written in Objective-C. Was there a objc.dll file for the Windows version of the Safari before?
For 6, I doubt how useful the coverflow is. Apple Inc. found a good way to use it! Bookmark!!!! The CoverFlow fits very well with the concept of bookmark!!!
At first, I thought the introduction of Safari for Windows was not for another browser-war. In my opinion, it was for providing developers a testbed for their iPhone web apps. By attracting web developers, it could be a very popular web-enabled mobile device, and also for hot interest shown by many developers, Apple Inc. could announce iPhone SDK. If the iPhone SDK was announced earlier than Web app development environment, the iPhone native development environment would not get such hot attention.
Another reason I thought was to prepare Cocoa/Objective-C development environment for the Windows.
They had OpenStep for the Windows. They had white-NeXT. So, they secretly had worked on the Mac OS X for the Intel platform.
From the Safari 4 for Windows, at least it became clear that Apple used some environment which had Obj-C tool chain. Because the DLLs are mainly for Core… and other common Unix libraries, it may not be Cocoa/Objective-C yet. But, I don’t see any reason that they don’t have such an environment.
Also, from the Leopard SDK, I see more and more words, i.e. “Windows”, in the Cocoa header files.
In that sense, the Safari 4 for Windows is promising. The Core… thing seems to be well integrated to the Windows environment. So…. it feels like that it is not so far from now to announce Cocoa/Objective-C development environment to write Windows-native programs. Probably… Xcode for Windows?
What is very stupid about the Internet Explore is that you can’t easily select each URL component.
For example, I would type “https://jongampark.wordpress.com”. But I found out that I was not logged in.
So, I would like to type “www.wordpress.com”. On a Mac OS X, whether you use the Firefox or the Safari, double-clicking on the “jongampark” will select it, and you can just type “www”. But with the IE, it is not possible. it selects the whole URL. With the Safari 4 for Windows, it also selects whole thing except for the “http://”.