Saturday, 16 June 2007

Apple drops the ball

In what most deem is a big risk, Apple decided to release Safari 3 public beta to the masses. By masses I mean both PC and Mac platforms. This move could have been ingenious, if the product was the usual Apple offering. However, it has fallen short, FAR short of expectations. Where is the "3 years into the future" design thinking that Apple are famous for? What, I can shift my tabs around and find things?? What were you thinking? Yes, the time is now to get PC users in, but do it with a product that isn't absolutely terrible! Think of a bunch of amazing browser innovations, build in some ideas from the firefox plugins if you can't think of them yourself. And reduce the features in favour of making it a little more stable. Yes, it's a beta, but my download didn't even start up after it was installed! I'll look again when there is a better offering, but my opinion is, most people wouldn't be bothered.

Another note on Safari. It claims to be a standards based browser and the best for web developers to test their goods on. In my experience, being a web developer, I find it dreadful to use. I've never thought much of Safari, and no amount of hype thrown at a bad product will ever turn it into a good product. I'm just concerned that Apple start resting on their good innovations in the previous few years, and rely on riding the wave of hype. This won't cut it with PC users (remember, they don't worship Apple), it won't work on a bad browser, and also, let's hope Leopard has more to offer than a few shiny makeovers and some irrelevant functions.

Adobe are getting this right, concentrating on workflows and cutting down production times. I'm hoping Apple don't get sidetracked and that recent popularity hasn't gone to their heads. That being said, I'm still a big fan of the company. I guess the expectations are high because people have become accustomed to only the best from Apple.

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