15 Comments

Summary:

Last night, I made Safari my default Web browser in Windows. With any luck, I won’t be turning back to Internet Explorer or Firefox any time soon. But while some initial issues with the beta version of Safari 3 have been well-documented, including security and font […]

safari

Last night, I made Safari my default Web browser in Windows. With any luck, I won’t be turning back to Internet Explorer or Firefox any time soon. But while some initial issues with the beta version of Safari 3 have been well-documented, including security and font rendering, at least for me, the biggest hole in the current offering is .Mac integration.

Apple’s .Mac is an integral part of the Safari experience, especially if you routinely run more than one computer from different locations. Across computers, my bookmarks and folders in Safari are perfectly synchronized. If I make changes or bookmark a new site at home, the changes are made at work, thanks to .Mac. But on Safari for Windows, I don’t have those bookmarks at all – a significant blow to the user experience.

I see two routes Apple can go to remedy the missing .Mac functionality in Safari. First, and likely easiest, would be to add a .Mac tab within the Preferences of Safari. I would enter my login details, and they would be synchronized from Cupertino. The backup option would be to create a Control Panel for .Mac within Windows, similar to the preference pane in Mac OS X today. But adding a .Mac control panel for Windows might indicate support for other .Mac staples, including Backup, iCal and Mail.app.

If Steve Jobs and the rest of Apple don’t want to give away the full Mac experience to those who haven’t yet made the switch, .Mac integration in the Preferences section of Windows Safari is the way to go. In my limited time with Safari on Windows so far, I’m very impressed with how similarly the application follows its Mac counterpart, and I hope .Mac integration is coming soon.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

Related research

Subscriber Content

Subscriber content comes from Gigaom Research, bridging the gap between breaking news and long-tail research. Visit any of our reports to learn more and subscribe.

By Louis Gray

You're subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

Related stories

  1. Use Firefox and Google’s Browser Sync add-on and you’ll have the same bookmarks and folders on any platform Firefox runs on.

  2. Kim, that’s true, but if you prefer Safari over Firefox, as I do, those add-ons won’t work. Unlike many, I’m fairly happy with .Mac.

  3. With respect to bookmarks, this seems pretty much a nonissue to me. Why not use del.icio.us with a client application such as delibar or cocoalicious?

  4. Louis, you said it right there, “Unlike many”. Safari will have the features you want, eventually. But Apple and to an even greater degree Micro$oft will always lag behind Firefox and Opera in most browser features.

    Steve, I’ve found del.icio.us to be slow. I still use it, but it’s just more convenient to have bookmarks in the browser for most people. This is especially true is you use the keyword shortcuts. Being able to type “tab” to get to http://theappleblog.com instead of locating it in your del.icio.us add-on or app is a real time saver.

  5. .Mac bookmark sync is the MOST important thing missing from Windows Safari. Oh, and I’ll bet it doesn’t exist on the iPhone either.

  6. You can get .Mac bookmarks from any browser. Go to mac.com and the link should be on the left side about half-way down. You have to log in, of course, but going your bookmarks opens a separate small bookmark window arranged a bit like palette. You might be able to use this link to go directly there (with a log-in on the way): http://www.mac.com/WebObjects/Bookmarks.woa/wa/default?aff=consumer&cty=US&lang=en

  7. Neal, that is one saving grace. The bookmarks.mac.com address works from any browser, and is a great feature. But it is definitely a move away from normal activity. I’m fairly sure Apple can find a way to integrate .Mac logins through the app.

  8. Louis is right in his request. .Mac bookmark syncing is a service for loyal Mac users. It would be nice to support these users even when they dual-boot, or use Safari on Windows anywhere else.

    Besides, Apple is not giving away a lot of its Mac experience to the Windows world. Even if you have a .Mac tab in WinSafari, you have to subscribe to .Mac to benefit from it.

  9. You’re right, Louis! Yesterday I configured Safari as the default web browser on my pc box at work. It was the first thing I missed: where’s my bookmarks?!

    I’m confident that Apple will make this improvement to WinSafari…

  10. I totally agree. if i have to deal with windows say at work, then atleast if there is .mac sync with Safari WIN32, then my home stuff would be in sync with what i love the best. Safari. I just dont like Firefox either.

Comments have been disabled for this post