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What’s New In Safari 4’s UI

The tab bar on the top (that, by the way, had inconsistent window color with the rest of OS X Leopard’s UI and doesn’t look good in Tiger, either) is replaced by one on the bottom.

Safari 4 Reverts Back To Bottom Tabs

Note the inclusion of the plus button on the right hand side of the bar to add a new tab.

Also note how similar it looks when compared to Firefox’s.

Safari 4 Tab Bar Is, Not Surprisingly, Similar To Firefox 3.6's

The RSS icon is updated to a bluish-grey color and matte look not dissimilar to OS X’s Graphite theme.

More Change Comes In The Form Of A New RSS Button

The loading indicator has taken a new look (it actually says “loading”). When the page first loads, it takes a dark blue appearance. This color fades to white when the page almost completes.

Safari 4 Loading Indicator Actually Says Loading

When The Page Almost Completes, The Loading Indicator Turns White

The default toolbar now changes to a minimalist set of tools: navigational (back and forward), spatial (address bar, add bookmark) and inquirial (search.)

Safari 4 Default Set For Its Toolbar Now Contains Less Tools

The Customize Toolbar menu itself (accessible through the View option) carries several new tools: show/hide Bookmarks bar, show/hide Downloads, and, most notably, one-click Web Inspector access.

Safari 4's Customize Toolbar Menu Brings One Click Access To Web Inspector

Did I Overlook Anything?

I probably did, because there are many other subtle changes in Safari 4 (smooth transitions on the loading indicator is one easily overlooked) so let me know if you found them!

Update: Here’s Something Else New

Safari 4 Has A Progress Bar While You Download A PDF File

Safari 4 now features a transparent progress bar that overlays while you’re waiting to view a PDF file.

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5 thoughts on “What’s New In Safari 4’s UI

  1. richard says:

    A lot of the changes are good – such as the load bar, but I preferred the tabs on the top. It’s a shame that Apple didn’t leave us the choice.

  2. Richard,

    I was surprised at this particular change, too. I originally set my Safari 4 Public Beta to have top sidebar. I didn’t like it when I first had it, but after UI tweaks, had gotten used to it. Just as this point happens, Safari 4 decides to yank it off.

    I have tried

    defaults write com.apple.Safari DebugSafari4TabBarIsOnTop -bool TRUE

    to no avail. There seem to be no fix for this.

    There should be a choice, I agree.

  3. Couple of weird items while customizing the toolbar.

    1. Address + Search are a single item and thus you can’t put anything in between them.

    2. You can’t place a button on the right of Address + Search, but you can move Address + Search to the left of a button.

    And despite the initial interface shock, I, too appreciated the top tabs due to the vertical space saved (especially while browsing on my laptop).

  4. Randy,

    Correct. The Address and Search Bar has been viewed as a single item ever since Safari 4 is in Public Beta.

    And, strangely enough, you can place a button on the right of Address + Search. The bars won’t slide accordingly, but your cursor would have a plus symbol next to it, indicating that you can legally do it.

    Right after you release the mouse, the bar will magically resize itself.

    I concur with you. The tabs does save some vertical space on my 13″ Macbook—but as much as I like it, I still find the tab reordering/window moving behavior not obvious (ie. you have to move your mouse to a particular area of the tab, namely the right side, to reorder.)

  5. Michael says:

    Like other commenters here, I, too, thought that the tabs on top were a good idea. I hadn’t yet tried the hidden preference on the command line, but you say it doesn’t work, eh? Hmm. Yeah, it would have been REALLY nice if they had left us a choice….I mean, why put it in there in the first place, only to take it out a month later? Silly, I think…perhaps they just had a TON of users/testers complaining about the tabs-on-top setup; who knows.

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