What Mac apps do I use? Choosy

Summary:Sometimes Safari doesn't work with a particular website or web application. What can you do — besides simply launching another browser?

Longtime Mac users know that Safari isn't the answer to all websites or web forms. The problem isn't so much that a page won't load, rather, it's a failure to connect to a service or complete various functions on the page.

The latest outcry is from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with the Oscar voting. The ballot doesn't work properly on the Mac.

"I did everything right," protested one voter. "I shouldn't have to download another browser!" The next day the downloaded Firefox worked fine.

One publicist branch voter tried to log on Monday morning to vote for the Oscars and couldn't get the site to accept his password. There was no online help, only the help line, which kept him on hold for 15 minutes before he hung up. "Good thing I'm in Santa Monica and not, say, in London or Tokyo," he wrote in an email. "Contrast this with the ease of BAFTA online voting. They've been doing this for 7-8 years, at least. It's a no-brainer."

There are many other pages that have similar issues with Safari. Sometimes it's just one page on a site or pagelet on a page. The answer is to launch the problem site in another browser, such as Mozilla Firefox. Now, it's easy to set the default browser in Mac OS X: open the General preferences pane in Safari and set the default web browser in the list.

But what if you don't want to make another browser your default browser?

To fix this situation, I use a very useful browser selection application from developer George Brocklehurst called Choosy 1.0.3. When the user clicks on a link, Choosy presents a list of the browsers installed on the system; it's not a text list but the regular icons of the browsers. This prompt lets you choose the browser you want. There are also plugins that can send the current page from one browser to Choosy. It's very slick. The cost is $12.

BTW: Here's a report of an interesting bug in Safari by Pierre Igot at the Betalogue blog.

More serious is the fact that, in my experience, the Resume feature in Mountain Lion’s Safari only works properly when the application is manually quit by selecting the “Quit Safari” command in the “Safari” menu.

If, on the other hand, OS X automatically quits Safari along with all other applications when I request a restart via the Apple menu or as part of an application installation process, then after the restart, Safari’s Resume feature restores… only some of the windows and tabs that were left open when it was quit. It looks like Safari restores not the most recent state of the application, but some earlier state, from some unidentified time.

He offers a workaround. Check it out.

Topics: Apple, Browser, Operating Systems, Software Development

About

David Morgenstern has covered the Mac market and other technology segments for 20 years. In the recent past, he founded Ziff-Davis' Storage Supersite, served as news editor for Ziff Davis Internet and held several executive editorial positions at eWEEK. In the 1990s, David was editor of Ziff Davis' award-winning MacWEEK news publication a... Full Bio

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