in Apple, Technology

Safari 4’s tabs and the Wacom tablet

John Gruber’s complaint of the new Safari 4’s tabs is right on money:

Consider: with the previous tab design, if you wanted to move a window you dragged the window, and if you wanted to move a tab, you dragged the tab. Now in Safari 4, if you want to move the window you drag a tab, and if you want to move a tab you drag the small grippy strip at the far right edge of a tab.

If you’ve used a Wacom tablet before, you’ll know that clicking with a tablet pen is never a precise thing.

With a mouse, movement of the cursor is entirely separate from clicking—you move the cursor by shifting your hand and click by pressing the mouse button. With a tablet, you need to place the pen tip onto the surface of the tablet, and lift it off the surface to trigger a click action. The problem with a tablet is that unlike the mouse button, the cursor shifts when you lift the pen off the surface of the tablet.

If you’ve never used the tablet before but have used the iPhone, this problem is similar to how the text selection caret shifts slightly as you lift your finger off.

In my experience, Apple is clearly aware of this problem, and corrects for the minute shift through the iPhone software by putting the caret back to where it was before you lifted your finger.

With the Wacom tablet, this does not happen. And since Safari 4’s tabs are now very sensitive to the dragging action, the imprecise clicking of the Wacom tablet now drags the entire Safari window instead of selecting the tab.

Very annoying. I had to revert Safari 4’s tabs back to the old style for it to be useable again with my Wacom tablet. See tip for on Lifehacker for Putting Safari 4 Beta’s Tabs back.

  1. Same problem here. Switching back to the older tabs as well.

  2. Exact same problem… and in addition, because of all the misclicks and not switching to the tab I wanted, understandably I get very annoyed so I start clicking faster in an attempt that one of my many clicks will actually hit! …and heres a question for you all: what happens when you double-click the menubar? … … …

    now, imagine how annoying that is once you are failing to do something so simple as changing tabs…

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