I’ve been using the Safari 4 beta since the day it was released and I have a few comments to make.
1. The page loading UI device is just too hidden. The current spinner approach is worse than the previous aqua background animation in the address bar. Users look at the page itself to see if anything is happening, not the right end of the address bar. I suggest Apple consider either layering something on top of the center of the page (dimming it a little and showing the spinner).
2. The Top Sites feature is neat but not terribly useful. It’s basically a graphical bookmark folder. I’d suggest adding a tracking feature to the bookmarks menu that lets you identify URLs that you haven’t visited in X months/days so you can prune your list.
3. The history page just doesn’t need a cover flow UI. It’s totally useless because pages from the same site can look almost identical, therefore forcing the user to jack up the cover flow icon view to full size. I’d rather have the history break things down by hour if possible. I frequently try to recall pages in terms of time: “I saw that yesterday around 9am.
4. The new tab button in the top right corner is just not useful. It’s dimmed to a darker gray and makes the user think they will get a new window, not a new tab. If the new tab glyph must be there, why not add “New Tab” to it as well?
5. The tab bar at the top of a window was very jarring at first. I think it would be interesting for Apple to allow users the option to revert functionality and then track it (with the user’s consent) to better evaluate major changes like this.