What Mac apps do I use? Choosy

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

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  • Safari is awful

    I love my Apple products, but Safari is just awful. I do everything that I can to avoid using it. This is one areas where Apple needs to lift its game.
  • Not just a Mac/Safari problem . . .

    It's not just a Mac/Safari problem.

    I've had similar issues on Chrome in Windows and in iOS as well. And it's made even worse by the fact that I'm using script blockers like NoScript (Firefox) and ScriptSafe (Chrome).

    Even when script blocking is disabled, though, it still happens in Chrome. There does seem to be an actual issue with Webkit.

    The ultimate solution is of course for the developers to fix the bug(s) that are causing this behavior. The user really shouldn't be forced to use workarounds like this.
  • Shit Happens

    Sometimes, a shitty developer use shitty 3rd party modules that only work in IE.
  • Sounds more like bad web design to me

    Any problem a web site presents to me on Safari I almost invariably have with any other browser I try.
    Laraine Anne Barker
  • They ALL have their issues...

    All browsers fail at some point, on any number of websites. IMHO most browsers run almost identically, & it's a lot like driving a car - it's a matter of personal preference. I use Safari, very rarely have a problem, but have Firefox installed also - a second browser is great for trying to find cheap airfares or better seats at an event. I've tried Chrome, but found it was very invasive. I use IE at work (PC), & require 2 different versions to access most websites.
    It's due largely to the fact that each vendor has extended or interpreted the implementation differently. None is more correct than the other. Find one you like, with a second one as backup, & move on...
  • Adding more Tabs

    I find it hard when adding more Tabs. When the user reached a number of Tabs, Safari automatically group the new tabs in a drop down arrow, that requires you to do 2 clicks and search.
  • Firefox browser + Theme Font & Size Changer

    Since it is impossible to read the tiny fonts on the Safari Bookmarks Bar, and nearly as bad using Chrome, I resort to using Firefox with the Add On: Theme Font & Size Changer for readable bookmarks bar. It works great! The most irritating thing about OS X is tiny font syndrome, where you run into unchangeable fonts on apps. For the most-part, OS X is just wonderful - shall we say fluid and easy to use -- any Windows user can jump in and be going the same day. Just make system-wide font adjustment to enlarge, and you got it 100% great.

    While iPhoto may work, I am using Nikon ViewNX 2 and Picasa for editing, or the built-in Preview for fast view and edits. Mail is a good app. Calendar and Reminder work well. Also using free version Evernote. SugarSync, Dropbox, Skydrive and such all work well with Macs.
    For drawing, Seashore is not a good app -- once way too light, it now has lots of tools.