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Oh crap! Could I really switch to Safari? Wait, nope.

I don't demand a heck of a lot from my browser anymore. I've weened myself from dependence on add-ons and plugins and moved to as many bookmarklets as possible so that I don't miss a beat when switching among the myriad of browsers installed on my system.

While I've been using Firefox for ages, I've been playing with Chromium for quite some time and become used to its speed. I downloaded Safari 4 when the final became available yesterday and was impressed.

Speed isn't the be-all and end-all for a browser, but it's pretty dang important. And yes, Firefox has gotten faster of late, but it's still not quite on par with the Webkit Wonder Twins (no, I couldn't have picked two superheros who sucked more while still having super powers - sorry Zan and Jayna).

Apart from its obvious speed improvements, how about Safari's ability to kill an unresponsive plugin (like Flash) on a page without the whole browser falling to pieces? I'll have that, please.

One other small detail that I was pleased to find was better support for the Windows 7 taskbar. Just like IE8, you'll get a hover thumbnail for every tab and window Safari currently has open. Download progress is indicated on the icons as well. It's not perfect - hovering a particular thumbnail only shows a blank page on all but your active tab, but it's better than all the other non-IE browsers have achieved so far.

Wait a minute. Did that seriously just happen while I was putting this post together?

Hey Safari, where the hell did all my bookmarks go? I spent wasted ten minutes getting all my bookmarks set up on your toolbar. I reopen my browser, and what's up top? My bookmarks? Nope, Apple's defaults. IE6 might suck like a souped-up Dyson, but even it doesn't indiscriminately trash my settings like that.

That's a pretty major failure of a very basic browser function.

Session restore? Well, according to the history menu Safari can do that, too. Yet when I select the option to restore from my last session I get my last active tab and two blank tabs. I'm pretty sure those had actual websites in them before - yes, they did. GMail and Reader. Where did they go?

I always want my core web pages to open when I launch my browser. In Safari I need an addon or I have to make a selection from a menu to re-open tabs (and then in a new window)? That's garbage.

And its address bar sucks, too. In Chromium or Firefox I can type 'reader' and up comes all my history for Google Reader. Safari, on the other hand, sits there like a drooling hillbilly waiting for me to give it a bigger clue.

Safari 4 was looking good, but it looks like I just bit the soft part of the Apple.

Tags: askdls, safari-4