Sunday, 31 July 2011 18:18

Apple's Safari 5.1 has iPad-like tab reload problem, needs fix!

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Apple's Safari 5.1 browser, available pre-loaded in the new Mac OS X Lion, or available to download on PCs and Macs, has taken this whole business of copying the iPad waaaay to far, annoying Macolytes to no end.

Time for a rant. Ok, so I haven't tried Safari 5.1 on Mac OS X 10.6.8, or on Windows, but I do have it loaded onto my 2010 MacBook Pro via the upgrade to OS X Lion.

I downloaded Lion almost as soon as Apple made it available at the Mac App Store, and after a couple of hours downloading over a Telstra Next G wireless 'almost 4G' DC-HSPA+ connection, and then another claimed '33 minutes' of installation/upgrade time, Lion had loaded and was ready to roar.

Yes, I've had to get used to the new scrolling, although now that I'm used to it, I like it.

I've appreciated the ability to resize windows from any corner. And I like a lot of the other new things that are within, although I have complaints, too.

I did like the way Spaces worked before, although I do like the new Mission Control, even though plenty online don't.

What really irks me though isn't OS X Lion itself, but Safari 5.1, which seems to have gone off on a flippin' safari of its own.

First, there's the ability to swipe back and forth. I thought this was to switch BETWEEN tabs, not to go back and forth through a single tab's history. It was mega-disppointing to see that Apple had done naught here differently to OS X 10.6.8 and the earlier Safari save put in a page sliding animation.

Well, whoop de freakin' do, Mr Steve Jobs. Thank goodness Better Touch Tool (BTT) is available to let me use three fingers to swipe between tabs, although sadly sans that page sliding animation, but why isn't this simple little swipe feature just a standard part of OS X Lion? Why do I need third party software to configure my touchpad to work the way I want it to? Sheesh.

But by far the most annoying thing about Safari is its new behaviour of re-loading a tab once I've not been on that tab for a while.

This makes Safari work pretty much like it does on an iPhone or iPad, where the browser has released pages from memory, necessitating a page reload when you go back to a page.

The iPad 2 reduced this page loading brouhaha, but not a single soul on this entire planet though Apple would give the SAME freakin' behaviour to a full-powered browser on a computer with gigabytes of RAM, unlike the iPad 2's plarty 512MB and the iPad 1's even paltrier 256MB.

Well, except maybe Steve Jobs or his Safari dudes.

Honestly, it's a very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very annoying bug.

Hey, did I mention yet how very annoying it is to have your tabs reloading when they never did before unless the site in question made its own page refresh?

No? It's very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, VERY ANNOYING.

And'¦ it's not just me. A quick Google search shows lots of people affected and no-one happy at all about it.

Thankfully, Apple can fix this by issuing an update, but'¦ nothing has happened as yet.

So, Apple'¦ please stop messing with Safari users who definitely did NOT buy a computer, only to have it transformed into an iPad.

That's what an iPad is for. That's why I have an iPad and a MacBook. Of course, I'd like them to be combined into the one device, and one OS to create a MacPad Air hybrid - just like Microsoft is doing with Windows 8.

For now, I'm living with this stupid bug that causes pages to refresh for no good reason, and plenty more are too, but honestly, Apple, where's the fix already?

Rant over.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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