Apple Safari RSS review: Apple Safari RSS

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Much improved page rendering; has JavaScript speeds that equal the fast performance of Mozilla-based browsers; broad standards support; integrated RSS reader; Private Browsing; did we mention speed?

The Bad Some Web sites are still coded for Internet Explorer-only browsers; not as extensible as Firefox.

The Bottom Line Apple Safari RSS, the default Mac OS X browser, beats Opera, Firefox, and Internet Explorer as the best Web browser for Mac users.

Current Safari users can upgrade through the vendor's Web site.

7.7 Overall
  • Setup and interface 7.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Service and support 8.0

Apple Safari RSS

Long gone are the days when Apple CEO Steve Jobs got up in public and said that Internet Explorer was his Web browser of choice. In early 2003, Apple created its own browser, Safari, and started bundling it free within Mac OS X. With Apple Safari RSS, Apple has not only added unique and useful features, such as integrated Real Simple Syndication (RSS), but has also made Safari arguably the fastest Web browser for the Mac platform.

Apple Safari RSS installs with Apple Mac Tiger. Current Safari users can upgrade through the Apple Web site.

For Safari RSS, many of the browser's underpinnings have been revamped, with Apple promising faster performance. In informal tests, we found nothing to dispute that claim. In fact, we discovered that Safari's JavaScript performance had jumped an order of magnitude. For example, graphics-heavy pages loaded much faster. This equals happier Web browsing.

You can access saved RSS feeds through Safari's Bookmarks Bar. Whenever you receive new articles, Safari lets you know how many with a number after the host site's name.

Like Opera, Safari adds several built-in Real Simple Syndication features, including the easy addition of new RSS feeds, an RSS feed viewer, and a personal clipping service that aggregates RSS feeds into one bookmark.

Using a simple slider and complex text sampling technology, Safari allows you to tailor the length of the RSS clips you see.

For those who share a computer or browse at work, Safari's Private Browsing feature hides your cookies, browsing history, and caches as though you were not surfing at all. Safari also recognizes who is logged in to the Apple Mac OS so that parents can limit the sites their children have access to. Apple also claims improved Web standards support for Safari, such as CSS3 and DHTML, so more sites will render as their designers intended. But cooler still is Safari's integration with some native Mac OS-level features, such as Apple Command+Option+D, which lets you see the dictionary definition of any word found on a Web page.

Unlike Mozilla Firefox, however, Apple Safari RSS is not extensible. This means you won't profit from the wealth of handy plug-ins available for extensible browsers, such as Firefox.

Though Apple does not provide separate support for Safari, you can use Apple's built-in Mac OS Help Viewer or browse through Apple's online knowledge base forums. And reporting a bug (should you find one) is easy: simply click the "Report bugs to Apple" menu item on the desktop. In addition, savvy users might want to read Surfin' Safari, a blog by David Hyatt, the man responsible for designing much of Safari RSS.

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