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DuckDuckGo to be included as default search option in Safari on iOS and OS X

Straight from the Apple’s mouth. It’s already in the Safari betas! This is great news. I’ve been using DuckDuckGo as my search provider for awhile now, and their new design is the bees knees.

Unlike some other search engines they aren’t in the business of selling your personal data.

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HTML5 Audio Safari Extension

Another in the recent line of “replace Flash whenever possible” Safari plugins, which replaces popular Flash-based audio players with the HTML5 <audio> element. See also: The YouTube5 extension, which does the same for YouTube embeds.

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Safari 4 & 5 AutoComplete Vulnerability Exposes Email Addresses, Phone Numbers

As described by Jeremiah Grossman, this is pretty nasty. See the proof-of-concept demo here, and be creeped out. (via Shawn Medero)

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How To Enable Extensions For Safari 5

If you, like me, have tried to install a Safari 5 extension such as Coda Notes, and were met with the following dialog:

and then spent 5 minutes looking through Safari’s Preferences window to no avail, this is how you enable Extensions on Safari 5:

  1. Open Preferences
  2. Click Advanced
  3. Click Show develop in menu bar
  4. Close and reopen Safari
  5. Click the Develop menu item
  6. Finally, click Enable Extensions

Viola.

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Coda Notes: a Safari Extension

Unveiled by Cabel Sasser on stage at WWDC today, this is already hot shit:

When you install Coda Notes, you’ll get a new button in your toolbar. Click it to see all our annotation tools, built right into Safari. Draw some notes on your favorite website. Communicate changes, ideas, concepts, or problems. Then, when you’re done, hit the Send Notes button and the whole page flips over as a postcard.

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There is no WebKit on Mobile

Peter-Paul Koch tests 19 different versions of WebKit/KHTML and creates a table comparing their successes and failures. His verdict: You’re going to have to test in multiple WebKit-based browsers for awhile, yet.

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Safari 4’s Full-Page Zoom

Pierre Igot on the differences between Safari 4’s page zooming and other browsers. Safari 4’s implementation is yards better, and makes the job of the programmer much easier.

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The Safari 4 Beta, Titles, and Ownership Of The Close Button

Safari 4’s public beta has a lot of problems, and while it is “beta” software, I have a feeling that many of it’s biggest usability problems are set in stone. For a company as large as Apple, who releases software how Apple releases software, the “Beta” label means that “we’re pretty close to done, here”. They aren’t going to change the UI very much. Stuff like the awful “tabs-in-the-titlebar” is most likely not going to go away. There are some big issues, and to me, these are the biggest:

At A Glance, The User Cannot Easily Find The Title Of The Page They Are Currently Reading

In versions of Safari previous to 4, the tabs were organized in the (thus-far) standard way: below the menu and title bars, like this:

safari_old1

While not optimal, it works. Like any other application, the user can simply glance at the top of the current window to see the title of the page/document they are currently browsing. For comparison, here is a screen shot from Pages, a part of Apple’s iWork suite:

pages

The current document’s name is presented in the top, middle, of the window. This is, as far as I’m concerned, Good. Some might see this as a bad comparison. Pages does not group disparate documents into a single window, like Safari does. That is beside the point, here. The point is that this is what users are used to, because it is how it works in nearly every other application.

Safari 4’s new tabs create this terrifying labyrinth, similar to Google Chrome:

safari_new

Since the tabs are organized not by any set criteria, but simply by the order they were opened in (or a later, user-defined order, which may be just as informal), the user must now distinguish between not only the two type of tabs (the currently active one and the inactive ones) but having done so, has to hope that the title fits within the tiny space alloted to each given page, active and not. You can see how this gets a little crazy if you’ve got more than 2 or 3 tabs open, or Cthulhu save you, multiple Safari 4 windows open. This is Bad. It’s so bad, in fact, that I hope it’s just some kind of placeholder.

The Window Controls Look As Though They “Belong” To The Left-Most Tab In Any Given Window

Again, Safari 3, this time the top left of the window:

safari_old_topleft

The window controls (Close, Minimize, Maximize), while they are integrated with the title bar, are clearly part of the window itself, and not any one tab. Now let’s have a look at Safari 4 again, this time the top left part of the window, with the new-style tabs:

safari_new_topleft

What is the average user meant to make of this? There are now, effectively, two “close” buttons in close proximity to each other, neither of which is separated from the left-most tab. Their icons are different, but not so different that one could easily tell which is which without knowing a whole lot more about the Mac OS than any random user does.

There is plenty more in the Beta that is worrisome, but these are the two big ones, for me. I hope that by making my issues public that it will push Apple to re-consider some of the planned changes for Safari 4’s release, though I doubt it very much.