OS X Mountain Lion didn’t just add a new GUI and iOS features. It also came with the newest version of Apple’s Safari web browser, version 6.0. The new version brings a lot of improvements – a unified search box; Tab View; and iCloud tabs, to name a few – that all add up to make what is possibly the best web browser on the Mac.
As you probably know, I constantly switch from app to app to find the best one for me. Most of the apps that I tend to switch up a lot are either web browsers or mail clients. For an example of the former, I used to use Google’s own Chrome web browser on Android and my Macs. Then Firefox 13 was released, I found it to be a better browser, and I started using it instead.
But since my purchase of Mountain Lion gave me Safari 6 – and since Firefox is currently being a brat – I decided to take Safari for a spin. I didn’t originally give Safari up because of poor performance or weird rendering, so I was expecting good loading times and a generally snappy app. Even with my high expectations, I was completely blown away.
Apple states that “web pages load faster,” and I certainly agree. Pocketables fully loaded a whole second less than Firefox in my testing, and that better performance translated to everything about the browser. Firefox isn’t exactly the most optimized Mac app anyway, but Safari’s animations and loading screens are even smoother and faster than Chrome’s!
The GUI of Safari 6.0 is fantastic, as well. All animations are smooth – but they don’t take away from the experience of whatever webpage you’re viewing. And the loading bar now gradually fills up with a lighter, flatter blue that makes the web browser look as beautiful as a web browser can look.
I still have Chrome and Firefox installed on my Macs for the next time that I might want to switch, but I’m going to stick with Safari for a while. Even with all of its services accounted for in Activity Monitor, Safari uses much less RAM than Firefox, but a little more than Chrome. But that’s a tradeoff I’m completely willing to make if it brings better performance – which it does.
The only downside I see to Safari 6.0 is that it’s only compatible with Apple devices. Support for Microsoft’s Windows was pulled from Apple’s site yesterday, and Safari on Android is just a far-fetched dream. As a user of a Galaxy Nexus, I find that slightly disappointing; then again, I’ve started to sync my Nexus with my Mac via a cable, so automatic browser syncing has become less of a requirement for me.
If you’ve tried Safari 6, what are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!