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Apple Announces Safari Web Browser

MWSF 2003 - Apple Announces Safari Web Browser

by , 3:00 PM EST, January 7th, 2003

Apple announced Safari, a new Web browser for Mac OS X, today at Macworld Expo in San Francisco. The browser, based on open standards, is available today as a free download. Safari features a new approach to bookmarks, including the capability of sharing them locally via Apple's Rendezvous technology. From the press release:

Apple® today unveiled Safari, the fastest and easiest to use web browser ever created for the Mac®. Safari's highly-tuned rendering engine loads pages over three times faster than Microsoft's Internet Explorer for the Mac and runs Javascript over twice as fast. Safari?s innovative features include Google search capabilities integrated directly into the toolbar; SnapBack, a new way to instantly snap back up to search results or the top level of any website after browsing down one or more levels; a completely new way to name, organize and present bookmarks; and automatic "pop-up" ad blocking.

"Safari is the fastest browser on the Mac, and we predict that many will feel it is the best browser ever created," said Steve Jobs, Apple?s CEO. "We are bringing innovation back into this category with the first all new browser created in many years."

Safari's features include:

  • Google search capabilities built into the user interface for convenient and quick searching on the web's most popular search engine;
  • SnapBack, Safari's unique feature that instantly returns the viewer to Google's search results or the top level of a website after navigating through a series of links from a Google search results page or the original entry page of any website;
  • bookmark re-naming, which helps the user easily and quickly rename cumbersome website names to shorter names more suitable for bookmarks;
  • the bookmark library, a powerful single-window interface similar to Apple's popular iTunes and iPhoto applications that makes organizing and managing bookmarks extremely familiar and convenient;
  • optional pop-up blocking to automatically block intrusive advertisements;
  • Address Book integration, which automatically incorporates all websites listed in the user?s Address Book contact database, such as personal websites, into Safari?s bookmark library;
  • extensive support of established industry standards to deliver proper rendering of web pages, such as HTML, XHTML 1.0, DOM, CSS, SSL, JavaScript and Netscape style plug-ins like QuickTime® with MPEG-4, Flash, Shockwave and Real;
  • a simplified download process with automatic handling of disk images, file decompression, MacBinary and BinHex conversion for easy download and installation of files and applications without extra files remaining on the desktop; and
  • the industry's best rendering engine based on KHTML, from KDE?s Konqueror open source project, to which Apple has made significant enhancements that will be contributed back to the open source community.

For more information or to download the beta, visit Apple's Safari Web site.

The Mac Observer Spin:

This is a big announcement. Apple is taking Microsoft's Internet Explorer head on with the release of Safari. As a consequence, the Mac OS X browser wars have just been raised to a new level. From our observation so far, Safari seems to be a solid browser. What remains to be seen, however, is if Internet Explorer remains on shipping new Macs.

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