The latest version of Apple's Safari adds extensive support for RSS, enabling users to keep up to date with their favourite news sources without visiting a ton of websites. But these facilities have not been back-ported to versions of the browser running on pre-Tiger versions of OS X.

The RSS system is reminiscent of Firefox's dynamic bookmarks, but we found the process of saving them in Safari a little less intuitive, and the stories themselves don't appear in the bookmarks menu.

Whichever version you have installed on your Mac, Safari is a fast and able application, and integration with the Spotlight feature in the latest version is great. The application handles tabs well and the bookmark manager is clear, concise and easy to find.

The only cloud on an otherwise clear horizon is the perennial problem with the financial institutions that insist on Internet Explorer (at worst) or Firefox (at best) and completely deny access to other browsers. iCab and Shiira are both able to spoof the dominant browser adequately and make it believe it is either IE or Firefox, but Safari doesn't provide easy access to the option. This is probably because of political issues at Apple, rather than any practical reason.

As it is now the default browser for OS X users, Safari is the application to beat. Many of the tools on offer with this browser provide similar or better features to the others on test, and you can access almost all banking sites without a hitch.

Safari benefits from its tight integration with the rest of the operating system and is a good choice for day-to-day browsing, but users may find that Firefox offers a better browser experience, especially where official support is required.