Safari 5.1 Beta Gets Awesome, iOS-Like Download Manager [OS X Lion]

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Screen Shot 2011-06-10 at 8.03.03 AM

Being a Chrome man, I generally don’t pay much attention to Safari, but I just noticed a really neat new feature in Safari 5.1 under the Lion Developer Preview 4: a new downloads manager.

In previous versions of Safari, running downloads popped up in a disembodied Downloads window that tends to get lost behind your open browser windows.

In Safari 5.1, though, the second a download starts, a little icon pops up next to the search bar. Clicking on this icon reveals a very iOS-like drop down window of past and current downloads. Clicking on a download opens it, while clicking the magnifying class locates it in Finder.

I really like this a lot… more than Chrome’s status bar implementation of downloads, definitely. Safari’s new downloads manager solves the problem of losing the Downloads Manager behind a bunch of open browser windows, but doesn’t make Chrome’s mistake of solving that problem by making downloads distracting UI hogs.

I’m not sure this is new, but what a great touch.