On October 13, 1994, Netscape launched version 1.0 of their new browser. Early the next year, upstart Netscape released version 1.1 which added support for tables and other features. Then Microsoft bought into NCSA’s Mosaic, launched its own browser and the wars began.
Years later, Netscape folded, the browser was purchased by AOL, Microsoft won the war. Or did it? Today, the single most insecure browser on the market is Windows’ Internet Explorer.
The competition? It’s growing, improving, and showing the world that there’s life after Microsoft.
Netscape is 10, but not a 10. Today, relative to new competition, the browser is slow, klunky, heavy with needless features, and carries a miniscule market share.
The best browsers are not showing up on Windows (Firefox apologists not withstanding). They’re on the Mac. So is the best browser available.
In fact, the Mac supports more browsers than ever. There’s Apple’s own Safari, AOL’s Netscape, Opera, iCab and others. Mozilla Organization maintains Mozilla and the highly touted and very quick Firefox. An offshoot, one of my favorites, Tera’s favorite is Camino. Fast, different features, Mac-like.
All these browsers are generally stable and do the job. Some, like Safari, Firefox, Camino are very fast, though not heavy on features. Internet Explorer for the Mac? Usage is waaaaay down according to our web site server logs. What’s #1? In usage, on the Mac, it’s Safari by far.
What’s the best Mac browser? A little controversy is good. Many say Safari. Others say Firefox (too Windows-like for me). Tera says it’s Camino (think Firefox with a Mac-like front-end). I might be going out on a limb here, but…
The #1 Mac browser is OmniWeb.
No flames, please. I’ve been thinking about this since the 5.0 version (5.1 beta 2 is out now). The features of OmniWeb are clearly produced by people who love Mac OS X. The rendering engine (version 5.0) was slower, in my opinion, than Safari, Firefox, Camino.
Version 5.1 uses the same rendering engine as Safari and is lightning quick. Unless my eyes are deceiving me (haven’t brought out the stop watch yet), OmniWeb is a little faster.
And loaded with neato Mac features you can’t get anywhere else. Safari may remain #1 because it’s Apple’s own browser, but OmniWeb’s new version deserves a look. A close look.
It’s what’s hot. Safari does it right. OmniWeb does it better with thumbnail graphics so you can “see” shat’s on the page, then change to list mode to avoid the constant scrolling.
Safari does Google right in the menu bar. Firefox gives you more than Google. OmniWeb gives you Amazon, Google, Google Image, Dictionary.com, and much more. In fact, you can build “shortcuts” in the menu to any searchable web site. That’s different than just a bookmark. And cool.
Most of the new browsers block pop up ads. OmniWeb gives you choices. It’s so good that Tera reported it to Omni as a bug, because our pop-up pages woulnd’t even pop up. It’s your choice. No pop ups. All pop ups. Or in between. Or even from a specific advertiser (you know who you are).
Save Browsing Session
This is worth money. Click a checkbox that says “auto save…” and the whole browsing session gets saved; web pages, screen location, pages in tabs. Launch again and it all comes back. Cool.
Similar to Save Browsing Session but better. You’ve got lots of pages and windows open and need to close down. With Workspaces, OmniWeb saves everything.
Every good browser does good bookmarks these days. OmniWeb does, too. AND imports bookmarks from Safari (Apple doesn’t let you do it the otherway around). Now, if only OmniWeb could get the bookmarks to sync with iSync. But you can share bookmarks with others on a network using Rendezvous.
You know how much Tera likes RSS? This may be the one feature that gets her buns off Camino and over to OmniWeb. RSS is built in. There’s no need for an external application.
Preferences. By Site.
All browsers have preferences, but they’re global. OmniWeb does preferences on a “per site” basis with Site Preferences. Think of it as a personal CSS for sites you like (and don’t).
Back To Basics. Speed.
OmniWeb version 5.1b2 is worth a look. Although it boasts the new, faster rendering engine, it’s still beta. This version has been stable for me and I’ve noticed that Tera’s checking it out, too. Good. Nothing improves without change.
Honors to the original Netscape. Shame on Microsoft for MSIE. Thanks to Apple and Mozilla for keeping the flames alive.
Is OmniWeb the #1 browser? What do you want? Speed? Stability? Features? It’s got more great features than Safari, Firefox, or Camino. It’s as fast as Safari, Camino, and maybe a little faster. Try it yourself. Stability? that’ll come with some exercise.
For now, OmniWeb takes top honors.
Click Here and make your own choice. Feedback? Let us know what you think of OmniWeb and how it compares.