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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

An odd Safari mobile tab bug

November 11, 2007

While my friend Chris Masto, whom I met through Viddler, and I waited to go to lunch on Thursday in New York City he mentioned to me how much he likes to use Hahlo as his Twitter application of choice on his iPhone. Chris was probably the tenth person in a week to tell me to use Hahlo. However, he described an annoying bug that he found in Hahlo – but after he described it I thought it was a bug in Safari Mobile. Time would tell.

After lunch I decided to switch from Thincloud’s Twitter application to Hahlo and give it a whirl. Hahlo is great. It is quick, easy, and does nearly everything I need to interact with Twitter* and does it in an aesthetically pleasing way. I highly recommend using Hahlo.

Onto the Safari mobile bug. If you click a link in a tweet it will open a new tab in Safari mobile with that URL loaded in it. This is exactly as it should happen, because you wouldn’t want to have to navigate back to Hahlo. However, if you close the tab that it opened, Safari will replace Hahlo with the last tabs URL. This gets to be pretty annoying and I’ve found it happening in other applications besides Hahlo.

I have yet to figure out a sure-fire way to reproduce this in a consistent way and I can’t seem to find a pattern for successful opening and closings of tabs. But I can say this; this bug happens just about every single time a tinyURL is involved.

I’ve emailed Dean Robinson, lead developer of Hahlo, and he’s looking into it. I’ve also described the bug and submitted it to Apple Support.

Has anyone else seen this? Can you figure out why this is? Secondly, John Gruber recently stated that he’s finding the latest version of the iPhone’s software to be buggier than the previous – and I agree with him.

* By “nearly” I mean that Hahlo doesn’t yet have the ability to “friend” someone. Seems a little odd but Dean has assured me that it is in an upcoming release. Gauging from the work Dean has done so far on Hahlo – I’m sure it will be worth the wait.