Archive for the ‘safari’ Tag

Firefox 3 Beta for Mac Shows Promise

After giving Firefox 3 beta 1 a fair bit of testing, I am happy to say it has a lot going for it. Right now may not be a great time to upgrade since the majority of extensions are not compatible with the beta, but it’s a bright look into the future of the browser.

Bookmarking has undergone a major overhaul in Firefox 3. The new bookmark tools, called places,  are like smart folders that give you quick access to your most visited bookmarks or recently added favorites. Bookmarks can now be tagged, a direct stab at the social bookmarking competition like del.icio.us.

While Firefox 3 for the Mac is still a Carbon application, meaning nifty features like the services menu and access to the system-wide dictionary are not available, but the new native widgets make its appearance a little more bearable. And theme creator Aronnax has updated his GrApple theme for 3.0b1, making Firefox appear nearly indecipherable from Safari–that’s a good thing.

Still lacking in Firefox 3 is support for the system-wide keychain for password storage. This is a feature available in Safari and in Mozilla’s own Camino browser. Why they can’t incorporate it into Firefox instead of its junky proprietary one is beyond me.

You can check out the current 3.0 beta now, but I would recommend waiting a month or two for the final release, which has serious potential to steal some Safari 3 users away from Apple.

Surviving Modern Parenthood

Productivity guru Merlin Mann has just become a daddy. And as one might aspect, it has completely changed his life. One particular adaption he mentioned on his blog, 43 Folders, is that he now carries around a notebook to jot down things throughout the day. I’ve gone over the benefits of the notebook secretary, and have even offered tips for those with the high-tech alternatives.

On the subject of children, the new Mac operating system, Leopard, is making its way into homes. One great new feature for parents is parental controls. The controls are incredibly expansive, including the ability to block sets or specific web sites in Safari, stop kids from using certain applications or even setting bed times. Parents with little Mac users should look into the new controls offered in Leopard.

Maps Made for iPod touch

I did a post last month on Web-based substitutes for iPhone applications missing from the iPod touch. There wasn’t really a suitable alternative to the iPhone’s nifty, Google-developed maps app, so I simply suggested the Google Maps web site. It’s not custom-tailored to the i-products, but it does the job.

Thanks to a tip from web developer Al, he pointed me toward his new baby, iTouchMap.com. Complete with an Apple-like interface, iTouchMap offers many of the great features of the maps application setup in a compact interface suitable for the iPod touch.

While the site’s driving directions feature doesn’t operate exactly like the iPhone’s handy turn-by-turn directions, you can load up separate Safari tabs on your WiFi connection before you head on the road, so you have all of them with you without killing a bunch of trees.

Sync iPhone with Mac Keychain

I have a ton of passwords. It seems like every web site now requires a username and password to do anything. Facebook, Digg, the New York Times: it never ends! Fortunately I have all these logins saved in Keychain Access, a universal application where Macs save all your passwords for access from Safari, Camino or any app that needs them.

It came as a bit of surprise when I learned the iPhone and iPod touch don’t sync with Keychain. Not only does it not sync, but you can’t even save passwords onto the devices. Every time you want to access the many users-only sites on the web, you need to manually enter your login information.

It’s a minor annoyance, but it is one that could be fixed with a simple addition of Keychain syncing. iTunes already syncs your media, address book, calendar, mail and bookmarks. Why not your passwords?

Mac Tip: Safari 3 Keyboard Shortcut to Merge All Windows

With the new Safari 3 beta, Apple Inc. has added a great feature in being able to drag tabs out and merge windows on the fly. But for those who prefer using the keyboard over the mouse, there’s no keyboard shortcut for merging windows.

So here’s how to set it up:

Step 1. Open System Preferences in the Apple menu.

Step 2. Click on “Keyboard & Mouse” and then on the “Keyboard Shortcuts” tab.

Step 3. Create a shortcut for the feature by clicking the plus sign, selecting “Safari” as your application, entering “Merge All Windows,” and selecting a key combination for it. I chose ⇧⌘M.

Now relaunch Safari. Whenever you have a bunch of windows clogging the screen, hold the command, shift and M keys to merge them into one with tabs.

This is a useful way to add custom keyboard shortcuts to just about every app (but it doesn’t work in some, like Firefox). A couple other crucial custom shortcuts I use are ⌘K in Mail for “Add Hyperlink,” and ⇧⌘E in Pages for “Export” so I can save my file as a Microsoft Word document.

Multiple Web Browser Sessions

I’m forced to keep multiple browsers on my system for one reason. It’s not because of rendering — I use Safari 3, and I haven’t yet run into a problem loading a site, even banking web sites. I keep three separate browsers on my system because of cookies.

I have the Safari 3 beta, which I use 90 percent of the time for all of my personal, school and most of my work needs. But I have separate logins for some web sites, like one personal account and one Bigthawt account for Google.

Continue reading