Apple Safari 5 debuts: 30% faster & new Reader mode

Jun 7, 2010
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Apple Safari 5 debuts: 30% faster & new Reader mode

Now here's a surprise. After filling the WWDC 2010 keynote with naught but iPhone 4 goodness, Apple has slipped out Safari 5, the latest version of their desktop browser.  Packing a claimed 30-percent performance boost over Safari 4, the new version is also apparently three percent faster than Chrome 5.0 and over twice as fast as Firefox 3.6.  Of course, it's still a free download, and is available both for Mac and Windows machines.

There's no shortage of HTML5 goodness, either, just as we've heard in rumors leading up to the new browser's release.  Apple have squeezed in HTML5 Geolocation, HTML5 sectioning elements, HTML5 draggable attribute, HTML5 forms validation, HTML5 Ruby, HTML5 AJAX History, EventSource and WebSocket, together with a new, free Safari Developer Program.  That uses standard web technologies like HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript to create new extensions, and there's a dedicated Extension Builder in which each runs, sandboxed and with a signed digital Apple signature.

Most interesting to end users, perhaps, is the new Safari Reader mode which, at the tap of a button, slices out any extraneous information on the page and leaves just the core text.  Safari 5 will be available for download at apple.com/safari

Press Release:

Apple Releases Safari 5

SAN FRANCISCO, June 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Apple® today released Safari® 5, the latest version of the world's fastest and most innovative web browser, featuring the new Safari Reader for reading articles on the web without distraction, a 30 percent performance increase over Safari 4,* and the ability to choose Google, Yahoo! or Bing as the search service powering Safari's search field. Available for both Mac® and Windows, Safari 5 includes improved developer tools and supports more than a dozen new HTML5 technologies that allow web developers to create rich, dynamic websites. With Safari 5, developers can now create secure Safari Extensions to customize and enhance the browsing experience.

"Safari continues to lead the pack in performance, innovation and standards support," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Safari now runs on over 200 million devices worldwide and its open source WebKit engine runs on over 500 million devices."

Safari Reader makes it easy to read single and multipage articles on the web by presenting them in a new, scrollable view without any additional content or clutter. When Safari 5 detects an article, users can click on the Reader icon in the Smart Address Field to display the entire article for clear, uninterrupted reading with options to enlarge, print or send via email.

Powered by the Nitro JavaScript engine, Safari 5 on the Mac runs JavaScript 30 percent faster than Safari 4, three percent faster than Chrome 5.0, and over twice as fast as Firefox 3.6.* Safari 5 loads new webpages faster using Domain Name System (DNS) prefetching, and improves the caching of previously viewed pages to return to them more quickly.

Safari 5 adds more than a dozen powerful HTML5 features that allow web developers to create media-rich experiences, including full screen playback and closed captions for HTML5 video. Other new HTML5 features in Safari 5 include HTML5 Geolocation, HTML5 sectioning elements, HTML5 draggable attribute, HTML5 forms validation, HTML5 Ruby, HTML5 AJAX History, EventSource and WebSocket.

The new, free Safari Developer Program allows developers to customize and enhance Safari 5 with extensions based on standard web technologies like HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. The Extension Builder, new in Safari 5, simplifies the development, installation and packaging of extensions. For enhanced security and stability, Safari Extensions are sandboxed, signed with a digital certificate from Apple and run solely in the browser.

Pricing & Availability

Safari 5 is available for both Mac OS® X and Windows as a free download at www.apple.com/safari. Safari 5 for Mac OS X requires Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.8 or Mac OS X Snow Leopard® 10.6.2 or later. Safari 5 for Windows requires Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista or Windows 7, a minimum 256MB of memory and a system with at least a 500 MHz Intel Pentium processor. Full system requirements and more information on Safari 5 can be found at www.apple.com/safari. The Safari Developer Program is free to join at developer.apple.com/programs/safari.

*Performance will vary based on system configuration, network connection and other factors. All testing conducted by Apple in May 2010 on an iMac® 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo system running Mac OS X 10.6.3, with 4GB of RAM. JavaScript benchmark based on the SunSpider 0.9.1 JavaScript Performance test.


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