First look and thoughts on Safari 3.0

14Jun07

As most of the readers of this blog probably know Apple has released a new beta version of it’s browser Safari. The public beta is not only available for OS X but for Windows as well.

Safari is only the second software release from Apple that has been ported to Windows (with iTunes as the first one) but more about that later. Let’s start with the new features.

Speed

During his Keynote speech Steve Jobs has discussed the different benchmark results of Safari 3.0, IE 7 and Firefox. The numbers and graphs showed that Safari 3.0 is by far the fastest rendering browser. I have a hard time  feeling a big difference to Camino 1.5 though.

Inline find and moveable tabs

Searching in pages has greatly been improved. Safari 3.0 now highlights the results while darkening the rest of the page. The selected keyword is marked with an orange box.

Additionaly tabs can now be moved freely for your tab-ordering-pleasure.

search

  

Safari for Windows

Now, why did Apple choose to build a Windows version of it’s browser? And why was the Windows version so prominently presented as the “one more thing”?

There are several reasons. One of them is certainly the idea of making Windows users feel comfortable with Mac software. The same idea applies to iTunes where iPod users are bound to use Apples music player. Which brings us to the next point: Creating an eco-system or locking-in people. In the recent episode of MacBreak Weekly Leo Laporte has brought up the concern of having web applications which are optimized for Safari running pn the iPhone or on a Mac/PC. This is not going to happen and Apple has clearly stated it’s commitment to webstandards.

safari_windows

And still, the iPhone and Safari are the next modules of Apples growing ecosystem of Applications outside the OS X world. Safari is going to be the iTunes for the iPhone. I am thinking of synchronised bookmarks and RSS feeds, but also saved sessions, login-data and what not. We already know that you are going to need an iTunes account in order to use your iPhone. Why should you not need Safari in order to have a browser which plays nice with your iPhone?

The last reason is money. On the before mentioned podcast John Gruber from daringfireball has pointed out the fact that Apple is going to get cash for each search performed in Safari. And there are going to be a lot of searches, both on Google and on Yahoo’s site. The example of the Mozilla foundation or the Flock browser has shown that millions can be made by just releasing a browser.

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