Safari for Windows: Good or Bad Idea?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by Traverse, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Traverse macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #1
    I was disappointed when Apple discontinued development on Safari for Windows. I understand that Safari never gained significant market share, and was probably a burden at the time, but with Apple pushing more and more online services and with their new iCloud extensions for Internet explorer, Firefox, and chrome I really don't understand why they don't bring back Safari for Windows.

    I actually liked it, but it could've used a lot of refinement with both performance and UI.

    Did you like Safari for Windows?
    Do you think Apple should bring back development and really try to make an outstanding product?
     
  2. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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  3. Traverse thread starter macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #3
    I'm not really sure. If they could create a really great browser that gained some traction it could be good advertisement. Also, maybe they could optimize their iCloud content (such as iWork) with features that work best with their designed browser.

    It's really a vague question, but I've seen it asked before and was just wondering what other people thought.
     
  4. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    #4
    I think Safari is a "good enough" browser. It comes with your Mac or iOS device, it's well-integrated with the OS and you don't have to download and use storage space for another one. I don't think it has enough going for it over Chrome, Firefox or IE to make many Windows users interested
     
  5. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    #5
    It started out slow, buggy and very little fanfare or advertisement.

    It ended slow, buggy and in near complete obscurity.

    I'm not quite sure what Apple's original intentions were with it, but I think they pretty quickly realized that the time, effort and budget needed to make even a small dent in IE and Firefox marketshare (not to mention the rapidly rising star at the time, Chrome) was an impossibly uphill battle.

    Honestly, knowing how much Apple loves to dump older versions of it's products at breakneck speeds, I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did.
     
  6. saturnotaku macrumors 68000

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    #6
    It's called Google Chrome.

    I don't even like Safari on OS X. Getting rid of it on Windows was a smart move. It's not as if there aren't plenty of other choices.
     
  7. Dylan11 macrumors newbie

    Dylan11

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    #7
    I use it every day on my work-provided PC. We have to use so many web browsers, including business app using Explorer...I find it easier to have Safari for Windows. It's not nearly as stable as it is for Mac OS...but gets the job done.
     
  8. cammyg123 macrumors regular

    cammyg123

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    #8
    I still use it as my default and main browser on an old Windows 7 machine. :)
     
  9. mintfan7200, Feb 18, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014

    mintfan7200 macrumors member

    mintfan7200

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    #9
    Safari on Windows was a good browser it just did not feel the same to me though . It worked much better on the mac . It was a great option though for people who developed ios and mac content that needed to use windows . Very few people used it though so I think that is why apple stopped making it . It was not because it was not a good browser it was a good browser but there where better options out there such as chrome or firefox .
     
  10. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    #10
    I'm still using Safari for Windows. It does crash all the time but I like it anyway, for some reason.
     
  11. LOLZpersonok macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #11
    To be honest, I don't care that Apple discontinued Safari for Windows. I never used it, and to be honest, I never even used Safari on any of my Macs. Personally, I don't like how it works. That's why I use Chrome on all my machines, besides my PowerPCs.
     
  12. mintfan7200 macrumors member

    mintfan7200

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    #12
    You should try Safari on the mac it is very good . I prefer firefox I am not a big chrome fan . Chrome is ok but I have allways used Firefox so I stayed with it because I am used to it . But Safari is a great browser on the Mac .
     
  13. LOLZpersonok macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #13
    I don't use up-to-date Macs too often, but I can tell you that I really don't like Safari on the Mac. I'm just not keen on the way it functions, I'm the same way when it comes to iTunes, which is really bad on Windows, IMO. I can't tell you exactly what I don't like, but for me it's like the Internet Explorer of Macs. I prefer Chrome because it synchronizes my website logins and other information with me, plus it has customizable themes.

    To me, I think it was kind of useless of Apple for releasing it on Windows. Just like I think it was useless of Microsoft to release Internet Explorer on the Mac, except for before Apple had Safari. I don't know how many people dislike Safari, but I know a lot of people dislike IE, and even though it is significantly improved in V.11, I still don't like it.

    I'm not telling you to use Chrome and I'm not criticizing you for your preference for other browsers. If you don't like it that's fine, it's your preference. I'm just expressing my opinion.
     
  14. mintfan7200, Feb 21, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014

    mintfan7200 macrumors member

    mintfan7200

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    #14
    They made Safari for windows around the time when the first iphone was released , mainly because they wanted people to develop WEB apps or you could call them BROWSER APPS for safari on the iphone before the app store was created . Apple did not want to make a App store when the first iphone came out they wanted only there apps so they tried to tell people WEB or BROWSER apps where just as good as normal apps but people wanted normal apps . I think apple knew Safari on windows was not going to be very popular with casual users but they wanted developers on windows to make things for the iphone . I think safari on the mac really is not needed anymore because there are better options now avaliable on the mac but they will probably keep making it for the mac because people know what it is from the ios world and when they switch to the mac they know that is the internet browser . I do not use safari but I think it is fine for most people like I said I prefer Firefox anyways . People should not use Safari for Windows anymore I do not think it gets any updates anymore .
     
  15. LOLZpersonok macrumors 6502a

    LOLZpersonok

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    #15
    I never thought about the fact that Apple didn't originally intend for regular applications through an App Store on the iPhone. Now that I think of it, Safari may have been necessary to develop web applications for the phone.

    I agree that people shouldn't use Safari for Windows because it is no longer being developed, and as you said, it isn't being updated and poses security vulnerabilities.
     
  16. dusk007 macrumors 68040

    dusk007

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    #16
    I think it was also for the normal developers of just basic websites. Web Devs usually install a range of browsers and test in as many as reasonable. Having Safari on Windows just meant devs working on Windows could properly test for compatibility of their Website, ultimately benefiting mac users that do not have the option of starting up Internet Explorer when a website acts up. Used to be a big problem but is not anymore with IE being much more compatible since IE 8 with what other vendors do.

    Safair on Windows just always was horrible software. It may have won a Java Script bench but UI performance and general UX, startup times were crap compared to the competition. It is okay in OSX but the Windows version never could stand up to the rest or its OSX brother. Just like iTunes on Windows maybe a necessity for iphone users but its performance has always been atrocious.
    I don't think anybody but webdevs and Apple fanboys who just like the UI skin ever used Safari on Windows.
     
  17. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    #17
    Good news for Safari for Windows users -- it doesn't have the recently discovered SSL bug that is plaguing Mac OS Safari.
     
  18. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #18
    First reform Safari, then again Safari (the Mac application) for Windows

    I wonder whether you can add a poll by editing the opening post. I don't imagine a positive result, but it could add value to the topic.

    Side note: I often feel that the structure of http://forums.macrumors.com/index.php is not ideal – no good point in the hierarchy for good topics such as this – I'll post site feedback.

    I often install or update iCloud on Windows but I wasn't particularly aware that there was support for multiple browsers. I imagined that only two of those three were supported.

    Was it true that the earliest version of iCloud for Windows supported Internet Explorer only? If so, that was a major turn-off; a detractor from the Apple product.

    Yes, I loved it. Still do, wherever I find it. It the past, Safari was a standard installation on all Windows machines in my area, and most users enjoyed it as their default.

    Opinions varied, will vary, wildly.

    Here's a 2010 example of someone who appreciated an improvement to Safari: Best Browsers 2010 . . . Five Browser Comparison | FilterJoe (referred from http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=20434154&postcount=131 where someone wanted an alternative to Microsoft Internet Explorer).

    Safari on Windows is, for me, the outstanding example of a well-integrated Mac application. I choose that word carefully – in the Windows context, it's more a Mac application than an Apple application. And so it's also more a Mac application than an app or a program. Yes, I know that 'Mac' is now more commonly used to describe hardware (specifically not software), but Safari did have the design qualities that I associate with good software on a Mac. To have those qualities in a Windows environment was, is, a breath of fresh air.

    It's possible that the majority of Windows folks never appreciated those qualities. So accustomed to a wild variety of designs, that Safari was just another design.

    (And so http://forums.macrumors.com/forumdisplay.php?f=2 might be a better place for this topic, if you would like a moderator to move it.)

    Yes, I would like Apple to resume development of Safari for Windows – but not a crippled/ridiculous Safari.

    Not entirely off-topic: yes, Safari on OS X should be reformed as an outstanding part of an outstanding Mac OS X system (not crippled, as Safari is in the Yosemite part of a lacklustre Apple technology ecosystem; lacklustre as a consequence of the crippling).

    http://help.apple.com/osx-yosemite/whats-new/from-mavericks/#/apd118301798 for example, observe the animation that occurs when a user aims to click somewhere within the domain field. Addition of a moving target like that to any Apple product would be bad practice. To find that introduced at version 8 is excruciatingly poor.

    And the sheet of many sites that drops down when all that's required is the address of the current site? Too much. Annoying.

    And so on.

    I would also like Safari for Linux.

    Also, selfishly, Safari on PC-BSD, although I'm not sure which desktop environment I would choose. Realistically I'll probably use Gnome Web.

    Safari only

    Somewhat off-topic, but I can't write about reforming Safari without also thinking about the Safari-only environment for guests on Macs that are protected with FileVault 2. I imagine that a future offering from Apple will have Safari only by default. So I believe that it's of paramount importance to have the best possible Safari, not a crippled foundation, sooner rather than later. In that context I remain partly interested in the recent news article, Google's Chromebooks Overtake Apple's iPads for First Time in U.S. Education Market (disinterested in that overtaking; Apple should be about the best, not the most).
     
  19. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    #19
    I don't know if it was mentioned earlier in this thread (which "died" 10 months ago) but Safari for Windows apparently was developed so that Windows-based web developers would be able to test what sites looked like with Safari.

    I still use it when I'm in Windows, and actually prefer it to the recent Safari for OS X. It's probably safe to use because it is unlikely to be targeted!
     
  20. Traverse thread starter macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #20
    I don't believe you can add a poll to a created thread, only Mods can do that.

    I read a decent number of users on any Safari news related thread comment on missing Safari for Windows. The biggest thing for me was font rendering. I don't use Windows often (especially for web browsing), but I like the rendering consistency between OS X and Windows. Plus, it would have allowed iOS users more integration with their desktop in terms of bookmarks, reading list, iCloud Keychain (maybe, I don't know if that utilizes OS X technologies).

    I have settled with Firefox for Windows, but it would be nice to just have all my browsing material waiting for me. I don't use the extension for Firefox.



    Originally, the iCloud control panel in Windows synced bookmarks, but only with IE. A good while after that Apple released an iCloud extensions for Chrome and Firefox in their respective web app stores that synced bookmarks, but only for the Windows versions (you're forced into Safari if you want to sync bookmarks between iOS and OS X)


    Thanks for the article, I like reading web browser related articles because they are essentially the most important program on our devices.

    Exactly how I felt. I started using Safari because I loved Apple's taste in design back then. I didn't have a Mac (only a cheap Windows Vista PC) and so Safari was a fun change.

    Though now I feel it could help the OS X community. (See thoughts on development at the end of this post)


     
  21. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #21
    Thoughts

    Side note, off-topic: untimely automated killing of topics was a forté of Google Groups; thankfully there's no such automation in MacRumors Forums.

    That was a use case, a benefit of development of Safari.exe, but I doubt that it was a primary reason for development of Safari.exe.

    +1

    That's interesting. I would never have guessed (I never looked).

    When I see some other browser renderings of fonts on Windows, supposedly respectable browsers, my jaw drops at the poor quality.

    I'll revisit that.

    Reasons for that relatively low share were many and varied. Consider the prevalence of Adobe Flash Player, its frequency of installation and the promotions of Google Chrome in the contexts of those installations. Consider Google's own introduction to Chrome – the comic strip, and so on. Very smart. And was Chrome the first mainstream browser to include tabbed browsing in a release?

    The sheet of sites is lovely, but it's a terrible distraction when the customer is focused on a single page. The sheet is untimely. Associating so much with Command-L was a mistake by Apple. Not streamlined; the result is a mash. Not focused on content; the result is distraction. The sheet should drop down in response to something else. There should be an option for the sheet to not drown in response to a click in the field. And so on. I believe that this design mistake was made and set in stone before the first pre-release of Yosemite was seeded.

    When I first saw that animation, it screamed to me of Apple wilfully ignoring logic. Change for the sake of change. The sort of thing that makes me fear that the old Apple has been killed or horribly suppressed.

    Related: http://chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/18893927#18893927

    The new Apple might like to consider the following improvements to presentation of texts within graphical user interfaces:
    <sarcasm>
    Apple prefers increasing lack of contrast between texts and backgrounds so there's plenty of scope for developers to do insane things with animation of text. Make it sufficiently difficult to distinguish text from the background, then go crazy with the presentation of that text; viewers will see so little of the actual text that they won't care. Focus on content. Yeah, right.
    </sarcasm>

    There's potential, but again … WTF was Apple thinking when they designed it to include moving targets?

    When I last checked, not recently, it was horribly buggy.

    Blink?

    Incidentally when I described the Safari-only environment, I wasn't describing Safari as the only browser within an OS X environment. I was describing Safari as the only app; vaguely comparable to Chromium OS or Chrome OS.
     
  22. Traverse thread starter macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #22
    Google had heavy advertising, but Safari had the benefit of being bundled with iTunes. I suppose many users may have never known what it was. :confused:

    Other browsers had tabs when Chrome was released, but it may have been the first browser to have them from version 1. I'm not sure.

    Flash is a big deal. I don't have it installed in Safari (and I prefer it that way) and get along fine 99% of the time with Click-to-Plugin offering up HTML5 alternatives, but it has it's uses.
    (1) For inexperienced users it's great to have a browser that includes everything they need with auto updated. My mother is a great example. I included Chrome because she doesn't even know what flash is and refuses to learn. Chrome is her one stop shop so to speak. She will have a heavily supported browser with a relatively safe reputation. In terms of privacy, she does nothing that requires it. (She could live with a tablet, but refuses).

    (2) Even for experienced users it has it's place. I love that Chrome IS my flash. I don't have flash installed system wide and can contain it within one app. Plus, since Google is the most used browser now, most sites play very well with it, particularly university sites.

    There is an option in Safari's preferences, but I don't think the naming is very good. I can't remember exactly, but there was a checkbox.


    Last year Google announced that it was working on it's own branch of webkit called Blink. They have now fully implemented it and furthers the issue that if something renders properly in Chrome it isn't guaranteed to render properly in Safari.

    The idea of the Chrome book fascinates me. That would fail with Safari, I think, because Safari isn't the mainstream by which developers test, and Safari lacks the rich amount of web apps Google does.

    I posted in another thread that one reason I prefer Safari is because it aims at being a browser, not your whole world. Installing Chrome (which I do have for flash) is like installing a mini OS. It has its own method of notifications, it now has Finder integration for web apps and allows web apps offline, contains all your plugins automatically. It's a little too much for me.
     
  23. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #23
    Steve Jobs and Apple Safari for Microsoft Windows: recollections from 2011

    Memories of Steve (2014-04-10):

    – some interesting recollections concerning development for Windows.

    Related: Thread Tools – Add a Poll to this Thread (vBulletin, 2014-12)
     
  24. jblagden macrumors 65816

    jblagden

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    #24
    Yeah

    I agree, it could be a good advertisement. Safari and iTunes are part of why I switched from a Windows PC to a Mac.
     
  25. Traverse thread starter macrumors 603

    Traverse

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    #25
    I agree. And I know that Apple is just trying to build their iOS and OS X ecosystem, but a lot of their iOS uses also use Windows and are not about to move to Mac. This would help give them more control over the ecosystem there too.
     

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