Safari (web browser)
Safari 6.0 on OS X Mountain Lion
|Initial release||January 7, 2003|
|Stable release||6.0.4 (April 16, 2013) [±]|
|Written in||C++, Objective-C|
|Operating system|| OS X
Microsoft Windows until v. 5.1.7
|License||Freeware; some components GNU LGPL|
Safari is a web browser developed by Apple Inc. and included with the Mac OS X and iOS operating systems. First released as a public beta on January 7, 2003 on the company's OS X operating system, it became Apple's default browser beginning with Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther". Safari is also the native browser for iOS.
A version of Safari for the Microsoft Windows operating system was first released on June 11, 2007, and supported Windows XP Service Pack 2, or later but it has been discontinued. Safari 5.1.7, released on May 9, 2012, is the last version available for Windows PC.
According to Net Applications, Safari accounted for 62.17 percent of mobile web browsing traffic and 5.43 percent of desktop traffic in October 2011, giving a combined market share of 8.72 percent.
History and development
Until 1997, Apple Macintosh computers were shipped with the Netscape Navigator and Cyberdog web browsers only. Internet Explorer for Mac was later included as the default web browser for Mac OS 8.1 and onwards, as part of a five year agreement between Apple and Microsoft. During that time, Microsoft released three major versions of Internet Explorer for Mac that were bundled with Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9, though Apple continued to include Netscape Navigator as an alternative. Microsoft ultimately released a Mac OS X edition of Internet Explorer for Mac, which was included as the default browser in all Mac OS X releases from Mac OS X DP4 up to and including Mac OS X v10.2.
On January 7, 2003, at Macworld San Francisco, Steve Jobs announced that Apple had developed their own web browser, called Safari. It was based on Apple's internal fork of the KHTML rendering engine, called WebKit. Apple released the first beta version for OS X that day. A number of official and unofficial beta versions followed, until version 1.0 was released on June 23, 2003. Initially only available as a separate download for Mac OS X v10.2, it was included with the Mac OS X v10.3 release on October 24, 2003 as the default browser, with Internet Explorer for Mac included only as an alternative browser. 1.0.3, released on August 13, 2004 was the last version to support Mac OS X v10.2, while 1.3.2, released on January 12, 2006 was the last version to support Mac OS X v10.3. However, 10.3 received security updates through 2007.
In April 2005, Dave Hyatt, one of the Safari developers at Apple, documented his study by fixing specific bugs in Safari, thereby enabling it to pass the Acid2 test developed by the Web Standards Project. On April 27, 2005, he announced that his development version of Safari now passed the test, making it the first web browser to do so.
Safari 2.0 was released on April 29, 2005 as the only web browser included with Mac OS X v10.4. This version was touted by Apple as possessing a 1.8x speed boost over version 1.2.4, but did not yet include the Acid2 bug fixes. The necessary changes were not initially available to end-users unless they downloaded and compiled the WebKit source code themselves or ran one of the nightly automated builds available at OpenDarwin.org. Apple eventually released version 2.0.2 of Safari, which included the modifications required to pass Acid2, on October 31, 2005.
The final stable version of Safari 2, Safari 2.0.4, was released on January 10, 2006 for Mac OS X. It was only available as part of Mac OS X Update 10.4.4. This version addresses layout and CPU usage issues, among others. Safari 2.0.4 was the last version to be released exclusively on Mac OS X.
On January 9, 2007, at Macworld SF, Jobs announced Apple's iPhone, which would use a mobile version of the Safari browser.
On June 11, 2007, at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Jobs announced Safari 3 for Mac OS X v10.5, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. During the announcement, he ran a benchmark based on the iBench browser test suite comparing the most popular Windows browsers, hence claiming that Safari was the fastest browser. Later third-party tests of HTTP load times would support Apple's claim that Safari 3 was indeed the fastest browser on the Windows platform in terms of initial data loading over the Internet, though it was found to be only negligibly faster than Internet Explorer 7 and Mozilla Firefox when loading static content from local cache.
The initial Safari 3 beta version for Windows, released on the same day as its announcement at WWDC 2007, had several known bugs and a zero day exploit that allowed remote execution. The addressed bugs were then corrected by Apple three days later on June 14, 2007, in version 3.0.1 for Windows. On June 22, 2007, Apple released Safari 3.0.2 to address some bugs, performance issues and other security issues. Safari 3.0.2 for Windows handles some fonts that are missing in the browser but already installed on Windows computers, such as Tahoma, Trebuchet MS, and others.
The iPhone was formally released on June 29, 2007. It includes a version of Safari based on the same WebKit rendering engine as the desktop version, but with a modified feature set better suited for a mobile device. The version number of Safari as reported in its user agent string is 3.0, in line with the contemporary desktop versions of Safari.
The first stable, non-beta release of Safari for Windows, Safari 3.1, was offered as a free download on March 18, 2008. In June 2008, Apple released version 3.1.2, addressing a security vulnerability in the Windows version where visiting a malicious web site could force a download of executable files and execute them on the user's desktop.
Safari 3.2, released on November 13, 2008, introduced anti-phishing features and Extended Validation Certificate support. The final version of Safari 3 is 3.2.3, released on May 12, 2009.
Safari was one of the twelve browsers offered to EU users of Microsoft Windows in 2010. It was one of the five browsers displayed on the first page of browser choices along with Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Opera.
Apple also released Safari 4.1 concurrently with Safari 5, exclusively for Mac OS X Tiger. The update included the majority of the features and security enhancements found in Safari 5. It did not, however, include Safari Reader or Safari Extensions. Together with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple released Safari 5.1 for both Windows and Mac on July 20, 2011, with the new function 'Reading List' and a faster browsing experience. Apple simultaneously released Safari 5.0.6 for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, excluding Leopard users from the new functions in Safari 5.1.
Safari 6.0 was previously known as Safari 5.2 until Apple announced the change at WWDC 2012. The stable release of Safari 6 coincided with the release of OS X Mountain Lion on July 25, 2012, and is integrated into the OS. As Apple integrated it with Mountain Lion, it is no longer available for download from the Apple website or other sources. Apple released Safari 6 via Software Update for users of OS X Lion. It has not been released for OS X versions prior to Lion or for Windows. Regarding the unavailability of Safari 6 on Windows, Apple has stated "Safari 6 is available for Mountain Lion and Lion. Safari 5 continues to be available for Windows." Microsoft removed Safari from its BrowserChoice page.
On June 11, 2012, Apple released a developer preview of Safari 6.0 with a feature called iCloud Tabs, which allows users to 'sync' their open tabs with any iOS or other OS X device running the latest software. Safari 6 also included new privacy features, including an "Ask websites not to track me" preference, and the ability for websites to send OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion users notifications, although it removed RSS support. Safari 6 has the Share Sheets capability in OS X Mountain Lion. The Share Sheet options are: Add to Reading List, Add Bookmark, Email this Page, Message, Twitter and Facebook. Users can now see tabs with full page previews available.
On April 9, 2010, Apple announced WebKit2. This was integrated into Safari since version 5.1.
Safari offers numerous features, including:
- Ability to save webpage clips for viewing on the Apple Dashboard (Mac OS X only)
- A resizable web-search box in the toolbar which allows choice among Google, Yahoo! or Bing only
- Automatic filling in of web forms (" autofill")
- Bookmark integration with Address Book
- Bookmark management
- Built-in password management via Keychain (Mac OS X only)
- History and bookmark search
- Expandable text boxes
- ICC colour profile (version 4) support
- Inline PDF viewing (Mac OS X only)
- iPhoto integration (Mac OS X only)
- Mail integration (Mac OS X only)
- Pop-up ad blocking
- Private browsing
- Quartz-style font smoothing
- Reader mode, for viewing an uncluttered version of Web articles
- Spell checking
- Subscribing to and reading web feeds
- Support for CSS 3 web fonts
- Support for CSS animation
- Support for HTML5
- Support for Transport Layer Security protocol (version unknown)
- Tabbed browsing
- Text search
- Web Inspector, a DOM Inspector-like utility that lets users and developers browse the Document Object Model of a web page
Until Safari 6.0, it included a built-in web feed aggregator that supported the RSS and Atom standards. Current features include Private Browsing (a mode in which no record of information about the user's web activity is retained by the browser), a "Ask websites not to track me" privacy setting, the ability to archive web content in WebArchive format, the ability to e-mail complete web pages directly from a browser menu, the ability to search bookmarks, and the ability to share tabs between all Macs and iOS devices running appropriate versions of software via an iCloud account.
New features in Safari 4
Beginning with Safari 4, the address bar has been completely revamped:
- The blue inline progress bar is replaced with a spinning bezel and a loading indicator attached to it.
- The button to add a bookmark is now attached to the address bar by default.
- The reload/stop button is now superimposed on the right end of the address bar.
These modifications make Safari on Mac OS X and Windows look more similar to Safari on iPhone than previous versions.
Safari 4 also includes the following new features:
- Completely passes the Acid3 standards test
- Cover Flow browsing for History and Bookmarks
- Native Windows look on Windows ( Aero, Luna, Classic, etc., depending on OS and settings) with standard Windows font rendering and optional Apple font rendering
- Support for CSS image retouching effects
- Support for CSS Canvas
- Speculative loading, where Safari loads the documents, scripts, and style information that are required to view a web page ahead of time
- Support for HTML5
- Top Sites, which displays up to 24 thumbnails of a user's most frequently visited pages on startup