As an avid macOS user and Cocoa developer, one of the staples in my workflow is browsing the Internet using Safari. I use the browser regularly, and have tested lots of different extension and shortcuts. As such, I have developed a smooth workflow with the browser across work and personal use that I'd like to capture for posterity.
The main purposes for using Safari are listed below:
NOTE: I am improving my learning rate by following the Swift forums, iOS Developer Slack groups, doing side projects and active learning rather than Tutorial / Blog Article Hell.
My workflow as such is developer-oriented and is geared towards best browsing experience for lots of reading and coding.
I am a heavy-user, which means I need a power-user workflow. 30 minutes saved daily on Safari could easily add up to 100s of hours yearly.
My philosophy: Create good processes to create good work.
Safari has more platform features in general because it's integrated into the Apple ecosystem. My favourite feature is iCloud Tabs ☁️. These are just magic, and I love how these seamlessly integrate with Handoff.
I would get an iPad Pro and try Sidecar, but I don't have enough money or willpower to stop procrastinating.
Safari has been redesigned on iOS with a Smart Search bar on the bottom. macOS Monterey has also greatly improved the UX imo. I love using Safari, and thus only use Brave for Google Meet calls when I really need to.
I use Safari because I am an iOS developer and as such am bought into the Apple ecosystem. I don't think Safari is the best browser for all developers, but it may work well for you as an app developer on a Mac and especially if you're an iOS developer.
Safari has a lot of great features including Reader Mode, bookmark management and reading lists, alongside highly complex Developer Tools. I do NOT recommend using Safari for web developers because the Developer Tools are less intuitive than Chrome or Brave (Chromium).
One of the key features of my workflow is Safari Keyboard Shortcuts. Here are the ones I use regularly:
CMD + L = Jump to URL / Smart Search bar
Esc = (while focused in the smart search bar) Restore Smart Search bar to original URL
CMD + alt + ← = Jump to left neighbour tab
CMD + alt + → = Jump to right neighbour tab
CMD + [ = Go back
CMD + ] = Go forward
CMD + w = Close tab
SPACE = Scroll down a page
SHIFT + SPACE = Scroll up a page
alt + ↑ = Move up
alt + ↓ = Move down
SHIFT + SPACE = Scroll up a page
CMD + P = Print page
CMD + Click = Open in new tab
CMD + Shift = Show tab overview
I've taken these from Apple's official Safari docs. The last one in particular is really powerful for visualising a flow, especially when coupled with Tab Groups.
I have tab groups for Imperial, Health and Coding. These groups help me organise my thoughts. I currently manage Personal or Admin tabs without a dedicated tab group because I only want to compartmentalise Work, Study and Health. I don't browse for other things, so I haven't overcomplicated my groups.
TIP: Focus on doing the essentials well.
I also have heavily customised my Safari toolbar. Like I said, I'm a power-user who reads articles a lot, and needs to cut out distractions. All these extensions have helped me become more productive.
As a developer, I would recommend you invest heavily in improving your processes to become more productive at work. Technology is a powerful tool, so make sure to yield it correctly for best results.
TIP: It takes discipline to stop distractions. Tools won't help you unless you use them properly.
Reflecting on my past year as a developer, I have many things I could improve going forward. However, we can only tackle big problems chunk by chunk. One of the most important areas was my Safari usage, and I am a lot happier about my workflow now.
Thanks for reading, and I hope these tips may help you become a Safari power-user too.