One of the new features shows all your top visited sites as a grid of thumbnails. While on the surface it’s an interesting feature, it’s a bit annoying in it’s current state. Â It also raises some interesting questions about things like “are advertisers paying for impressions for ads that are only shown on thumbnails?” But that’s probably a topic for a different post.
The feature also falls in line with a new trend at Apple – which is to take control away from the consumer and make certain choices for them. I originally thought of this Top Sites page as a cool way of keeping track of the main sites I want to visit each day. However, the way Apple sees it your Top Sites are explicitly the pages that you actually visit the most. Rather than giving you a list-view of sites and allowing you to drag pages into there from say, your bookmarks, all you can do is rearrange pages, and remove the ones you don’t want to see in your top sites. When a page is deleted the next most visited page is animated into place. It’s an annoying task to try to get specific pages on there. BUT NOW there’s currently no way to a secret way to manually edit those Top Sites. Â (SEE UPDATE AFTER THE JUMP!)
SO! If you want tomorrowland.com to be one of your Top Sites you’ll need to start visiting us more often and convince the Safari 4 gods to make it one of your Top Sites.
But there’s more..Â When I was trying to organize my Top Sites I accidentally deleted tomorrowland.com, which is certainly MY Top Site. So HOW do you get it back?
The trick is to Rest Safari…, an option on the menu bar under the Safari menu, but only leave “Reset Top Sites” checked. Â Uncheck everything else.
Then when you go back into the Top Sites page things will be back to an un-edited state. Any sites you deleted will be back and you have a better chance of getting them organized the way you want them. After about 30 minutes of messing I finally got the sites I wanted to show as my Top Sites:
Visual History? – Oh Crap…
Another new feature is showing your history as thumbnails in a cover-flow model. Â This feature raises new issues about browser history and personal privacy. You’ve always been able to view your history – but this is different. It’s one thing to see my history as a list of pages, but it’s a somewhat dark and revealing new thing to see it visually with pictures of every page I visited.
Obviously if you’re frequenting sites that are NSFW (Not Suitable For Work) this feature is going to be an issue for you. But for me it was more of a wow moment, bringing to light just how much web surfing I’ve done over the past few days. I would venture a guess that it’s a statistic most people probably don’t want their employers to see in a graphical presentation.
On the opposite side of the argument is another other thing I don’t like about this new history view – which is that it doesn’t show you the dates of those page visits. My most frequent use of the history feature is trying to remember what site I was on 3 days ago. For that you can still use the old way of viewing your history, but it would have been easy for them to have done a Time Machine type view with this – showing pages zooming back into time.
What do you think of Safari 4? Â Have you downloaded the beta yet?
UPDATE: How to manually add your own sites to Top Sites…
My buddy Rich was messing with Safari 4 and figured out a way to manually edit your Top Sites. The trick is to drag a link to your desktop, then drag the link back into the Top Sites. That’s it. Seems simple. I’m just not sure why you can’t drag sites from other places, like from a tab or a bookmark. Maybe in the official release you’ll be able to. But this work around works great for now!