Safari Reader Underwhelm

I was somewhat underwhelmed by Safari Reader, mainly on account of the enforced extra friction their designers added to its UI, presumably to make it "look nice":

  • On top (and bottom, but I personally don't mind that part), it adds a drop shadow that makes text harder to read there, as is my personal habit.

  • Even worse, on navigating with the keyboard (arrow keys, Page Down or Up, and worst of all, Home / End), it painstakingly slowly SCROLLS you there -- instead of just snapping into place as Google Chrome, for instance, would. On at least a really page such as this great current SSD disks review, it takes over a second getting from top to bottom or back, which is just massively annoying.

    This actually applies to all of Safari to a lesser degree, I just never noticed it before, as I don't usually use Safari when reading long pages. In normal browsing, it seems to do it in about nine frames (and with ugly visual blits), over the course of somewhat too long a fraction of a second (this even on my massively over-powered state-of-the-art mac pro extra-everything).

    Update: This Safari "feature" can be disabled in System Preferences / Appearance on the mac; uncheck the box "Use smooth scrolling". (Thanks, Fredrik; I was unaware of this.)

  • A slight missed opportunity: every sub-page in the page gets its own top-right discreet "Page n of m" header. That much is great. It just isn't also a permalink to that sub-page, so if you want to toss someone a link to the relevant part (to your own discussion) of the known-to-be-huge article, well, you're out of luck and have to dig it up in non-Reader mode. Unwebby!

As a statement about what we should demand of our digital readership experience, I very much appreciate the idea (yes, in the greater business reality, it's a hypocritical move to strip ads from the web with one hand, while enforcing ads on devices you stepmother with the other -- but I care more about the web). They have just been encumbered by a bit too much Apple designerism. I hope that copycats will borrow the good parts and throw away the bad. Please don't copy Apple's bugs.
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