Writing this post in Safari 4 beta on Windows 7 RC1. Some good and some bad news on the UX.
Tabs: They took a cue from Chrome and put the tabs in the title bar. They screwed it up a little though. In Chrome, they put a white background on the tab so you can read the words. In Safari, they leave it transparent with a little white glow. On the inactive tabs, it literally is gray on gray on transparent on gray. Completely unreadable. They have to make the tabs more opaque, this is riddiculous.
Top Sites: Chrome was cool with their brady bunch 9 sites on their new tab page. Safari tries to one-up that with a coverflow-like approach. It looks nice, but again, they screwed it up a little. They put a bunch of sites I don’t care about like CNN. (Chrome starts empty). When I visited gmail and then closed and opened the browser, it didn’t pre-fill the previous sites, nor did it show me gmail in the list. It just annoyed me with strange sites. Also, the labels on the sites are also hard to read.
Font rendering: I used to HATE safari because I thought all of the fonts looked strange. They looked blurry. I realized that Apple’s UI looks like this all the time and some people are used to it. Safari 4 fixes this problem and just renders text the Microsoft way, which is what I like and what I am used to.
Developer tools: Same as Chrome. I hate the Webkit inspector. It sucks. I want to hurt the people who made it. Just make firebug for Webkit! It’s not complicated. Use firebug and DO EXACTLY THAT. You guys are killing me with these horrible tools that make development incredibly painful.
The interface: It’s alot like Chrome now. No longer does it look like some strange Apple alien thing on my desktop. It’s a real window with normal controls, thank god.
Conclusion: I think I like Chrome better in some tiny subjective ways, but the speed is compelling. One thing Chrome has is Gears. I couldn’t figure out how to install Gears for Safari. So I guess I will stick with Chrome for now.