We’ve all done it. Half-way through a marathon browsing session, with 15 tabs open in this window and another 24 open in the window behind, and you tap Command+Q when you intended to just close one tab with Command+W.
Pow! Your browser quits and you have to wait for it to restart and re-load all those tabs again. So. Annoying.
Safari, Chrome and Firefox might be the most talked about browsers on OS X, but Opera’s still chugging along and pushing the envelope where it can in the ultra-competitive browser space, and the first beta for the Opera 11 version manages some tricks that even the big three haven’t managed yet.
When Mozilla finally releases Firefox 4.0 for OS X, Mac users might notice that browsing has gotten quite a bit snappier for them, as it now looks as if hardware acceleration may, at long last, be coming to Firefox for the Mac.
It’s far from certain, though. The next beta of Firefox 4.0, b7, is the last before feature freeze kicks in on the latest version of the popular alternative browser… and Mozilla’s OS X software engineers have just decided to try to sneak it in.
Adobe’s just released a new version of their Flash Player for Mac into the wild. Called “Square,” the latest version enables native 64-bit support on OS X, which Adobe hopes will result in a substantial speed boost for users running modern Macs.
On our end, we haven’t seen much improvement, short of a marginal (and perhaps imaginary) performance boost under 64-bit Safari. It still seems to take up just as many system resources as before.
Are any of our readers experiencing varying mileage with Adobe Flash Square? Let us know in the comments: we keep on rooting for Adobe to prove Steve Jobs wrong, but it still remains a slow and unacceptable system hog.
If you fancy a computer reboot to start off your day in exchange for some better WebKit stability and security, Apple has just pushed a new Safari update down the pipeline, fixing a stable of bugs and freshly revealed security vulnerabilities, including:
• Fixes an issue that could prevent users from submitting web forms
• Fixes an issue that could cause web content to display incorrectly when viewing a Google Image result with Flash 10.1 installed
• Establishes an encrypted, authenticated connection to the Safari Extensions Gallery
The 39MB Safari 5.0.2 update is available through Software Update now, or directly from Apple… and if you’re still stuck on Tiger, Apple’s even gone the extra mile and snuck out a 4.1.2 update for you throwbacks.
Released over a year ago for the PC, Google’s wonderful Chrome browser has been purgatorial on the Mac for far too long, but now that’s all over: Google has finally released Chrome in beta form for OS X.
Mac users have a duty to download the beta and help Google finish it — it’s a great piece of work.
It’s a feature light release compared to the PC and Linux versions. For one, the Mac version is missing its Bookmark Manager and Bookmark Syncing; it also omits the App Mode, which allows Chrome to run web apps in their own basic browser window. Google’s Gears is also off the table for Mac users, but Gears won’t work under Snow Leopard anyway, so this isn’t a big deal: anyway, Google has announced that they will cease developing Gears because HTML5 is now suitable for the same purposes. Finally comes probably the biggest omission: the Chrome Beta for Mac totally omits Firefox-like extension support.
All together, it feels like something of a phoned-in affair, and it’s hard not to feel a bit bitter that Google delivered so little of the full Chrome user after a year of keeping Mac users waiting.
That all said, I’ve been using Chrome’s developer nightly builds for months, and its combination of extreme simplicity, the effortless amalgamation of the address bar and search engine support, and its sandboxed security mode that prevents single tabs from crashing the entire browser have quickly made Chrome my favorite browser for Mac. Despite my enthusiasm for Chrome, though, I’ll be keeping Firefox as my working browser until Chrome finally builds extensions into their Mac version… and, more importantly, some plucky developer comes up with a Chrome alternative to Tab Mix Plus.