You have probably heard by now that Google has rolled out a new background image option. You can personalize your Google Search experience by using your own background image or by choosing one from the hundreds available in public galleries.
Unfortunately, due to some unknown reason, Google is using browser sniffing to prevent Opera and Safari users from accessing these options. It’s hard to believe that Google couldn’t find a way to make the image selection pane work in Opera or Safari. What makes this even more bewildering is the fact that Chrome also uses the Webkit rendering engine that powers Safari.
Guardian’s Charles Arthur suggests that Google may be blocking Safari due to the bad blood between Apple and Google. Arthur also suggests that the fact that Opera and Safari are popular mobile web browsers may have had a hand in Google’s decision. Of course, his explanation doesn’t stand to reason, since it’s easy to distinguish between the desktop version and mobile version of Safari as well as Opera.
My feeling is that it’s just plain old laziness on the part of Google and that is indeed a shame.