Inside OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: Safari 5.2 gets a simplified user interface with new sharing feature

Posted:
in Mac OS X edited January 2014


Safari gets a minor overhaul in this summer's release of OS X Mountain Lion, offering a cleaner, smarter user interface with a unified search and location field and new sharing features.



Safari has a history of delivering innovative new features while retaining one of the simplest user interfaces among major browsers available. In Mountain Lion, Safari removes the Google search field (and its SnapBack button) to leave one single location field.



From that single field, you can now just type the beginning of a website location, a search engine query, or reference a saved bookmark or recently visited page in your history. Safari continues to suggest alternatives as you type, but now it populates the results with potential searches recommended by Google (which remains the default search engine; Yahoo and Microsoft remain alternative options for search).











No Phishing



Also new in Mountain Lion's Safari is textual highlighting of the host in the displayed URL (as shown below, circled in red). This helps users, particularly the less technically inclined, see what server is hosting their page among all the other code in the URL pathname.



The feature should help users notice when a phony site is being used to display what appears to be a reputable site, such as when a known fraud site like "Hardcashhijackinfo.net" hosts a malicious, phishing version of PayPal.com, advertised via email spam warning users they must log into their account following a hyperlink.











Easy Reader, Sharing



Another new simplification of the Safari window is the newly omnipresent Reader button. Click it and it enters Reader for you on the selected page. When there's nothing to read, the button is simply greyed out.











Other button options remain the same (note that the Options button shown belongs to the optional Ad Block Safari Extension, and is not new to Mountain Lion), although the default set of buttons has changed to add a Share Sheets button.











The new Sharing button presents alternative ways (from its menu, below top) to add a page to the Reading List, Top Sites or other Bookmark folders, or email the content of the web page, all of which were previously available as menu bar options or keyboard commands, but now more conveniently accessible via the Sharing button.
























Sharing also introduces new options to Message or Tweet the url. The Twitter sharing feature uses the same tweet user interface as iOS.











On of 2: Safari turns 9, Resurrecting the web



Safari turns 9



It's hard to believe that Safari just turned nine years old. Prior to launching its own browser, Apple bundled Netscape Navigator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer for Mac (apart from a brief experiment in 1996 with its own OpenDoc-based browser components named Cyberdog).



With both Netscape and Microsoft treating the Macintosh platform as a secondhand project, Steve Jobs initiated the Safari project so Mac users could have a first rate, competitive web browser. Apple hired Netscape's Dave Hyatt in mid 2002, who had worked on the Mozilla browser since 1997, creating the Chimera/Camino browser as well as co-founding the Phoenix/Firefox browser with Blake Ross.



Rather than using Mozilla's open browser code (which he was intimately familiar with, and which was derived from Netscape), Hyatt and the Safari team leveraged the largely unknown open source KHML web rendering engine to rapidly deliver the first version of Safari within months.



Resurrecting the web



As Safari's developer, Apple rapidly became an important contributor to the HTML standards process, with Safari leading the effort to work toward standards compliance, highlighted by being the first to past tests such as Acid2. Apple is also a primary contributor to the HTML5 specification.











Apple was required by KHTML's licensing terms to share its improvements to the web and JavaScript rendering engine, which it did under the LGPL WebCore and JavaScriptCore projects. But Apple also went further and also made its own complete layout engine available as open source too, under the name WebKit.



WebKit allowed other vendors to quickly develop entire browsers for their own devices and platforms, sharing the same type of standards compliance that Safari had helped to initiate on the Mac. Apple launched its own WebKit Safari browsers for OS X and Windows, followed by a mobile version for iOS.



Other vendors, ranging from Nokia to Google to RIM to Samsung, have also used WebKit to deliver Safari-like browsers. Apart from Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 browser, virtually every mobile device and smartphone now uses a WebKit browser, giving WebKit nearly 100% market share among mobile devices.



Thanks to Google's proliferation of its WebKit based Chrome browser on Windows and Macs, WebKit now also about 24 percent of desktop users' browsers, compared to Microsoft's 53 percent share with Internet Explorer and Mozilla's 21 percent share with Firefox.









Apple's next version of Safari in Mountain Lion also incorporates some unique new features that are lacking in other WebKit browsers such as Chrome, including new privacy and website alert features. The next segment Inside OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will describe how these work.



[ View article on AppleInsider ]

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Comments

  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I hadn't realized the greyed out text in the URL was to prevent phishing. Good to know!
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,487member
    In before the anti-Apple brigade starts screaming about the unified bar and the greying out of extended URLs.
  • cgjcgj Posts: 276member
    I downloaded Safari 5.2 through the developer portal for OS X Lion.



    It sucked, big time.



    I personally prefer having the URL and search bar separate, and the 'Reader' button in 5.2 is just... Ugly. And what the hell did they do to the tabs?



    I switched back to 5.1.
  • screamingfistscreamingfist Posts: 971member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    In before the anti-Apple brigade starts screaming about the unified bar and the greying out of extended URLs.



    What's that?

    You think your posting takes the steam out of the obvious?

    Here is Apple playing 'ketchup' yet again....
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,487member
    In after the anti-Apple brigade has screamed about the unified bar and the greying out of extended URLs.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,323member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CGJ View Post


    I downloaded Safari 5.2 through the developer portal for OS X Lion.



    It sucked, big time.



    I personally prefer having the URL and search bar separate, and the 'Reader' button in 5.2 is just... Ugly. And what the hell did they do to the tabs?



    Reader does come in handy from time to time, so a button for that would be welcomed. As a button it is easy to clean up.



    The URL search bar integration is beyond stupid though, I really hope it gets dropped in the final release. The actions are distinctly different, especially when trying to search a document already loaded into the browser. From the human factors standpoint it just looks like a disaster.



    Worst I can see Safari struggling with trying to determine what I'm doing with my typing in that box.

    Quote:

    I switched back to 5.1.



    There is the rub you can do that now but maybe not for mountain lion.
  • maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member
    All that stuff looks antiquated. C'mon Apple spruce up that UI.Especially the tool bar section.
  • wizard69wizard69 Posts: 11,323member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    In after the anti-Apple brigade has screamed about the unified bar and the greying out of extended URLs.



    The search bar / URL bar integration is not justified in my mind so it is worth talking about. The other issues are personal preference but in this case I see real usability and technical issues to deal with. Safari has been on a two step forward one back for years now. Lots of great improvements mixed in with a boondoggle or two every release.
  • gtrgtr Posts: 3,157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    In after the anti-Apple brigade has screamed about the unified bar and the greying out of extended URLs.



    @Tallest Skil's comments



    Beautiful work by Apple.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,487member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    The actions are distinctly different, especially when trying to search a document already loaded into the browser.



    You've never used the URL bar for that anyway.



    My problems with 5.2 are as follows:



    I want my bookmarks to show up before search suggestions in the popup.



    I want tabs to go back to the way they were. Apple, you've screwed with my tabs before (putting them on TOP, for heaven's sake), don't do it again.



    I keep hitting tab when I create a new tab because I'm conditioned to expect to have to switch to the search box to do a search. But that's my fault. I welcome wholeheartedly the combination bar, it just needs to be done right.
  • screamingfistscreamingfist Posts: 971member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GTR View Post






    Beautiful work by Apple.



    Now, now. Don't be mean: "Safari has a history of delivering innovative new features"



    -posted using Chrome for Android.
  • euphoniouseuphonious Posts: 303member
    Still no tabs-in-titlebar option? Chrome, Firefox and IE all now have that option as default. I reckon they're onto something...
  • tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    I have a MacPro 2,1 and had to hack 10.8 dev pre to work on it. I say it looks pretty nice. I like the new Safari. 10.8 Dev Pre works pretty good on my non supported MacBook Pro and MacPro. Few glitches but all in all boots good. I really don't understand why Apple would eliminate the pre 2008 macs other than the 64bit rom but my MacPro runs 10.8 really good. I would understand Apple trying to refresh the users to upgrade to newer macs though.
  • dacloodacloo Posts: 777member
    Quote:

    Safari has a history of delivering innovative new features while retaining one of the simplest user interfaces among major browsers available.



    The Apple asskissing continues.
  • xian zhu xuandexian zhu xuande Posts: 801member
    Not sure why people hate the unified search/address bar. I've been hoping that the feature would come to Safari for a little while now. Maybe someone can explain why there would be any degree of conflict? I imagine it would be easier to use for typical computer users as well.
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,487member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dacloo View Post


    The Apple asskissing continues.



    On a website dedicated to Apple news? WHAT ARE THE ODDS?!
  • irelandireland Posts: 15,030member
    Google Chrome is the most influential desktop software app of the last 5 years.



    It's positively insulting Chrome's influence wasn't mentioned all over this article. Nest up for Safari is a Top Sites design I won't be embarrassed to use. And an intelligent way of closing 10 tabs in a row. Easily Chrome's best feature IMO. I just love not having to move the mouse when closing a few tabs, it's genius - especially when you do move the mouse the tabs grow to their regular size.
  • supremedesignersupremedesigner Posts: 72member
    About time for unify bar!



    Few things I hope Apple will update (probably never)



    1) colorful view-source

    2) tabs above unify bar rather than underneath (like Chrome)

    3) please update daily (like Chrome and Firefox) to keep webkit up to date... https://twitter.com/llahnoraa/status/165676328941658112 and

    4) less beach ball time
  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,487member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by supremedesigner View Post


    1) colorful view-source



    I think I'll like the answer, but what do you mean by this?



    Quote:

    2) tabs above unify bar rather than underneath (like Chrome)



    NO. Dear heavens, you hate usability, don't you?



    Quote:

    3) please update daily (like Chrome and Firefox) to keep webkit up to date...



    Oh, yeah, daily updates; that's real good.



    Safari uses WebKit2 already, Chrome is WebKit. Call me when Google's up to date.



    Quote:

    4) less beach ball time



    Where are you still getting them? I haven't had Safari crash ONCE since Lion DP 2.2, which is a welcome change from before the Lion DPs, too.
  • irelandireland Posts: 15,030member
    This article screams Daniel Eran.
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