Apple Safari 5 browser
By far the most important addition Apple's Safari Web browser is the Safari Reader.
- In terms of Safari's at the head of the pack - at least on the Mac
- Can't yet compete with Firefox and Chrome when it comes to number of extensions
How does Safari stack up against Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer? Its new Reader feature is unique among browsers; as a result, for reading long web articles, Safari is clearly the best browser. However, even though Safari now supports extensions, at the moment there are few available, so it's far behind Firefox and even Chrome in this area. Its Address Bar is the least functional of all the browsers, and its bookmarking, which is no different from the last version, is still very basic and leaves something to be desired. As for HTML 5 support, there are so few HTML 5-enabled sites and features these days, it's not yet particularly useful. The upshot is that anyone who already uses Safari should upgrade immediately to Apple Safari 5. Those who have yet to use Safari may well want to download it as well, if only to check out the Safari Reader for reading long articles, and for experiencing speedy web browsing.
On the Dell, Chrome completed the tests in an average 357ms, versus Safari's slightly slower 380ms. Firefox was well behind at 929ms, about 2.5 times slower than either browser. And Internet Explorer, at 5069ms, was more than 14 times slower than Chrome.
On the Mac, it was a different story, with Safari completing the tests in an average of 425ms compared to Chrome's 491ms. Firefox was again way behind at 1239ms.
So who is the speed king? In real-world use, you'll likely find Safari and Chrome indistinguishable.
Extensions come to Safari
Apple has announced that Safari now supports extensions. As of yet, there is no official extensions page, but Apple has begun allowing developers to join the program to create them. Some developers have jumped the gun and already built extensions, and if you're willing to do a bit of work, you can use them now.
If you're using a PC, click the gear icon at the far right of Safari and choose Preferences -->Advanced. Check the box next to "Show Develop menu in menu bar" and exit the Advanced screen. Then press the Alt key, and a menu bar will appear at the top of Safari. Select Develop --> Enable Extensions.
On the Mac, you simply click Safari on the menu bar, then select Preferences and follow the same basic instructions as on a PC. The Develop menu will then appear automatically, unlike on the PC, which requires you to hit the Alt key.
You're now ready to use extensions. Apple's official site isn't up yet, so at this point you're limited to unofficial extensions that developers have created. A good place to start is the Safari Extensions page. There's not much noteworthy there yet, but it's worth checking out.
Click the link for any extension, and you'll be sent to the developer's page. After you've downloaded an extension, double-click it to install it.
To manage your extensions or to uninstall them in Windows, you click the gear icon at the far right of Safari and choose Preferences --> Advanced. You'll see an Extensions tab which was turned on when you checked the box next to "Show Develop menu in menu bar." On the Mac, you'll now have an Extensions tab in your Safari Preferences where you can manage or uninstall your extensions.
HTML 5 support
Safari 5, like Chrome and virtually all other browsers, is jumping on the HTML 5 bandwagon and promising support for HTML 5 features such as geolocation services and playing embedded videos. I've tested out both features on Safari, and they work as promised.
When you come to a Web site that uses geolocation services, you'll get a notice from that Web site asking permission to use geolocation services. You can then make use of all its features, such as showing businesses near your current location.
You can also turn off geolocation entirely by going to the Preferences screen, clicking the Security tab and unchecking the box next to Location services.
HTML 5 video lets you play videos embedded in Web pages without add-ins or additional technologies such as Flash. The controls for playing video are right on the page itself. As of yet, there's very little HTML 5-based video on the Web, although YouTube has an experimental program that you can try out. You can also see some demonstrations at Apple's HTML 5 Showcase.
You'll find a number of other changes in Safari 5 as well. When you type text into the Address Bar, it now searches your history and bookmarks, as virtually all other browsers do now. But the Address Bar doesn't do double-duty as a search box, as it does in Chrome.
Speaking of search, you now have the choice of using Bing as a search engine (previously, you could only use Google and Yahoo).
Finally, with Safari 5, you get better control of how your tabs function. You can, for example, tell Safari to open all links in new tabs, rather than in new instances of the browser.
Safari versus the other browsers
How does Safari stack up against Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer? When it comes to speed, Safari's at the head of the pack -- at least, on the Mac. Its new Reader feature is unique among browsers; as a result, for reading long Web articles, Safari is clearly the best browser.
However, even though Safari now supports extensions, at the moment there are few available, so it's far behind Firefox and even Chrome in this area. Its Address Bar is the least functional of all the browsers, and its bookmarking, which is no different from the last version, is still very basic and leaves something to be desired.
As for HTML 5 support, there are so few HTML 5-enabled sites and features these days, it's not yet particularly useful.
The upshot is that anyone who already uses Safari should upgrade immediately. Those who have yet to use Safari may well want to download it as well, if only to check out the Safari Reader for reading long articles, and for experiencing speedy Web browsing.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HTC U11 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- 3 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 4 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft apologizes after a rogue Windows 10 preview build causes chaos
- Skype's major redesign prioritizes helpful bots and a smart camera over traditional video chats
- All-electric satellites are ushering in zippier in-flight internet access
- Why Microsoft's ARM-based Windows 10 laptops still have a lot to prove
- Microsoft shows the power of its Pen with a new Whiteboard app and other upgrades
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTDigital Records ManagerACT
- FTSAP ABAP DEVELOPMENT LEAD- NSW GovernmentOther
- FTSEO ExecutiveOther
- CCTechnical Support - L2 with NV1 OR NV2 clearance (current / inactive).VIC
- FTSenior Java and AEM DeveloperOther
- TPTest ManagerNSW
- FTService Delivery Manager - Telecommunications InfrastructureOther
- FTService Delivery Manager - Telephone & Broadband InstallationsOther
- FTSenior Developer (C# .NET SharePoint)Other
- CCSenior Microsoft SQL DesignerNSW
- FTSenior Analyst Programmer - Equities or DerivativesOther
- FTSolution ConsultantVIC
- FTSenior Siebel Developer - Canberra/MelbourneOther
- FTProject OfficerSA
- FTInfrastructure Engineer - Financial Services - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTProject Coordinator - Travel IndustryQLD
- FTBusiness AnalystOther
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectOther
- FTProgram CoordinatorOther
- FTApplication Service AdministratorNSW
- FTICT Programme Director – Adelaide Delivery CentreSA
- FTFixed Broadband SMEOther
- CCMultiple Front End Developers - BRISBANE | React.js | Angular.js | Node.js |WA
- FTSenior Analyst Programmer - Equities or DerivativesOther