Blog Post

Why Not Integrate Safari With Finder?

When Microsoft embedded Internet Explorer with Windows, it was an obvious anti-competetive move intended to thwart the growth of the Netscape browser and benefit from the company’s operating system monopoly. The tactic worked, helping to send Netscape into a death-spiral. But if you think about it, years after the dust has settled, and the court cases are history, it wasn’t a bad idea after all, to marry the browser with the desktop experience. And Apple has all the tools to do it themselves, the right way, without raising the ire of the legal system.

The WebKit engine underlying Safari also powers both Apple applications, including Mail, and many third party apps, like BareBones’ BBEdit. The next logical step, in my mind, is to WebKit-enable the Finder, letting me type in a URL, search Google, or access my bookmarks directly from my desktop, without having to open Safari. We can already see similar functionality with how you can play MP3 files within the finder without opening iTunes or view photos without opening iPhoto.

Click to See One Mockup of a Safari-Enabled Finder

There’s no good reason that I can type a URL in Windows to open a Web site immediately, and my Mac won’t give me the same option. And Apple’s low market share may actually give the company an advantage when competitive questions are raised. I’ve attached a quick mockup with one way today’s Finder (pre-Leopard) would look with embedded URL entry and bookmark access. What’s holding Apple back? Wouldn’t this be a useful feature?

34 Responses to “Why Not Integrate Safari With Finder?”

  1. If the file can be read by safari, then you can drag it onto the safari dock icon. Safari will load it and the “url” of the file will be in safari’s address bar.

  2. YES. ADD IT!

    I work with PC’s a lot and I work with Mac’s a lot. The single most frustrating thing on a mac is that I cannot copy and paste file locations. (If there is a way .. please tell me and i will eat my words).

    I often work on large networks with overly complex file structures. I detest navigating to a particular folder more than once. If I were to use the mac shortcuts I would end up with too many. Also they cannot renamed which almost makes them useless. I end up with 10 shortcuts labeled PSD, because the folders are nested within descriptive project folder names.

    I would like an address bar on the mac finder so that i can:

    1) Copy and paste locations of files, and send hyperlinks via email to colleagues.

    2) Copy and paste file locations from one app to another. For example if I export a file from photoshop to a specific location, I want to pick up where I left off in Flash without having to navigate.

    Integrate the address bar.

    Some of the comments on this blog are well researched and present a fair case (security etc).

    There are others who seem to think it is a bad idea because windows does it. Therefore it must be bad.

    Mac os and windows borrow ideas of each other all the time. What’s the big deal.

    Dave (prepared for hate mail from all you mac users).

    PS: I like macs. I just want an address bar.

  3. I like the idea of using addresses to find files on my local system. As far as being able to type a HTTP address into the finder, I can live with out it. You can locate local files using safari using file:// but it’s hard to explain that to novice users.