Safari 5 review

We take a look at Apple's latest browser to see what Safari 5 has to offer users.

Safari logo

At least the dialog presents an obvious counter of updates that are waiting to be installed, which can be done individually or in one fell swoop, and automatically if you elect to tick that box. Still, the dialog really needs to sport better organisation tools if it's to avoid annoying you.

Search options

Even though extensions add the possibility of replacing enhancing, Safari's limited search options will make you sick to your stomach. Apple touts "even more search options with built-in Bing search." That's one extra option in addition to Google and Yahoo. A measly total of three, and though that includes the poster-child of internet search, Apple hasn't conceded ground on allowing you to switch to a regionalised version of Google.

Nor can you customise the list of search engines to add it or any others you want to use, as you can in Firefox. Apple may be concerned about malicious code injection, or it may see this as the domain of extensions, which should help limit such security implications thanks to their being sandboxed. A fully customisable search extension to replace the built-in search bar looks like your best hope. Or you can stick with Firefox.

The address bar is improved, too, and closer to what you'll find in Chrome. If you can only remember part of a previously visited page's title or address, typing it brings up suggested matches from your browsing history and bookmarks, even if it appears part way through either of those attributes. Again, it's a catch-up feature, but it makes Safari that little bit more flexible that you can begin to see it as a viable alternative to the competition.