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Apple Quietly Launches Safari 5

Gordon Kelly


Apple Quietly Launches Safari 5

Yes there's still some Apple news to be had today because while Steve Jobs didn't see it as important enough to announce during his WWDC 2010 keynote the company has quietly released Safari 5.

Coming almost one year to the day since Safari 4, version 5.0 comes with a whole host of features we've long seen in its Webkit based rival Google Chrome and it certainly looks set to make up for lost time.

The headline news is Safari 5 is fast with Apple claiming it is twice as fast as Firefox 3.6 and surprisingly three per cent quicker than Chrome 5.0 which all equates to a 30 per cent boost over Safari 4. Note these tests are all conducted on an iMac running OS X (Chrome runs faster on Windows and Chrome 6 is faster again), but the overhaul it is impressive none the less.

On top of this Safari 5 finally brings support for third party extensions , something Chrome introduced over a year ago and took the beta tags off in January. Safari desperately needs this to compete with the functionality of Firefox and Chrome (we'd say Opera, but sadly its market share continues to be well under one per cent). Like Chrome all Safari extensions are sandboxed so if they crash the browser won't.

Next Safari 5 introduced 'Safari Reader' a tool which takes single and multipage articles and presents them in a new scrollable view "without any additional content or clutter" (below). From a not-going-bankrupt point of view we'll have to reserve judgement since this pulls away all advertising and may well affect page views.

Lastly Apple gets around to practicing what it preaches by adding 12 new HTML5 features including full screen playback and closed captions for HTML5 video, geolocation and WebSocket. And yes, Safari does still sport Adobe Flash.

Safari is immediately available for download and will soon be (mischeviously) bundled into iTunes 9.2 which is going to be released in the next few weeks in preparation for iPhone 4. Will you be converted?

Link: Safari 5


June 8, 2010, 7:21 pm

The novelty of Safari Reader is fun. Sort of looks like an RSS feed with pictures. Haven't tried to see if it integrates relevant videos yet though (actually I could check that now!).

More worrying though - have noticed that Safari 4 was really snappy at relaunching Flash when it crashes, yet I was on YouTube and video icons just disappeared and YT's search button wouldn't work. Is that a site thing or Safari 5 teething problems because I checked out the same action on Firefox and everything on YT worked just fine. Anyone else experienced a change in dealings with Flash?


June 8, 2010, 7:23 pm

Perhaps they will offer iAds in their Safari Reader function at a later stage. They will handle all the fuss of implementing ads in the reader, and only take a small cut of the profit, say 40%.


June 8, 2010, 7:24 pm

Okay regarding Safari Reader - just checked your Samsung Navibot review and sure enough no video. But I still think it's cute. Sort of like that YouTube light bulb feature only not pointless.


June 8, 2010, 7:55 pm

Speaking as a user of the web, Safari Reader is awesome.

Speaking as a producer of content on the web who likes getting paid for it, please don't use it.


June 8, 2010, 8:07 pm

Is any Windows PC user going to use Safari? No.

I've even spoken to die-hard Mac fans who now like Chrome more.


June 8, 2010, 8:18 pm

@Hugo: Google, for example, built their business on ads, yet nobody complains (or very rarely). Why? The keyword is unobtrusiveness. I don't mind ads when they are unobtrusive, I often find them useful. But I say no to blinking, shouting, flash-ing you-name-it crap.


June 8, 2010, 8:39 pm


I just tried to Install this new Safari Browser to give the reader a spin (sorry Hugo).

Clicking an article on Trusted Reviews and tapping on the reader icon, BOOM, all of the pages including pictures and everything in one long article. It looks very nice indeed.

I can see how this could be a problem for the site owners, since the five pages and 10 commercials I would usually see is now reduced to one page and two commercials.

Still, it is Safari. So I will probably uninstall it and go back to my good old Firefox, once the novelty of it all wears off.

Pendejo Sin Nombre

June 8, 2010, 8:43 pm

'Speaking as a producer of content on the web who likes getting paid for it, please don't use it.'


It seems like a good compromise though. The visitor gets to see your page as is, including any ads, then choses to foreground any suitable content, or not, as the case may be.

Will I use it. Yes, most definitely, going by my experience trying it out today. Will I use it every time on every suitable page. I very much doubt it. Sometimes I want to see stuff in situ.


June 8, 2010, 8:49 pm

@Jesper: I'd laugh if you weren't almost certainly right.


June 8, 2010, 8:55 pm

@bedo: Are you subtly alluding to something? ;-)


June 8, 2010, 9:23 pm

Just tried Safari on Windows and it's not very good is it. The Top sites page loads slowly, it crashed Safari on my first attempt, and why does it have page transition animations? Also, it just seems a case of bling for bling sake in some areas - like using Cover Flow for history and favourites - which is not like Apple. Chrome is much better.


June 8, 2010, 10:20 pm

I'm sticking with firefox, and it would take a lot to make me switch. Chrome feels sluggish on the mac (when swapping tabs it sometimes takes a few seconds). Also it's unreliable in remembering where you were in a page, so when you go back from an item listing on ebay to the search results it dumps you at the top instead of where you were.


June 8, 2010, 10:36 pm

@bedo: If "blinking, shouting, flash-ing you-name-it crap" didn't work (ie. attracted some clicks), then that type of commercials wouldn't really be there.

off topic (sorry):

I am a big fan of text based commercials too, and I would prefer them any day. Especially to commercials that try to trick you. Like Facebook commercials imitating the look and feel of Facebook apps, or commercials on this site, claiming I am Trusted Reviews Xxth visitor, and that I should click this button to claim my reward.

I am also puzzled why they try to sell me denims, when I am reading a review of a flat screen television.

on topic:

@Pbryanw: I agree, Safari is another piece of software out of Cupertino that is not suited for Windows. It almost seems like they are trying to coerce people into buying Mac's by making their Windows attempts so sad.

Goodbye Safari 5, I hardly knew you.


June 8, 2010, 10:57 pm

ARE YOU FRICKING KIDDING ME? bundling safari into iTunes 9.2 how the hell are they even allowed to do that, major abuse of itunes market share!!!. There damn well better be a way to NOT have it installed along with iTunes!!!! NOW WAY DO I WANT SAFARI AT ALL!!!!

Brian ONeill

June 9, 2010, 1:24 am

Note tidy read does this reader effect for firefox:


As regard ads i too prefer text ads or static image ads.


June 9, 2010, 1:45 am

@Jay - I think Gordon means Apple's practice of making Safari appear as a download in their Update Software (which comes with iTunes). So when you use Apple Software Update, you'll probably install Safari whether you want to or not. It's probably why Safari's browser share is so high.

I hope it's not because Safari's being bundled with iTunes, which I'm sure not even Apple would do.


June 9, 2010, 3:19 am

All the glossy bits aside, this is still an Apple product people - this means that it will only work with websites, add-ons, etc that Apple want you to. You have no control ....


June 9, 2010, 8:04 am

Just tried it on my Mac and God it's slow to load a page like trusted reviews compared to firefox. Do love the Reader function. Strips away the 90% of screen hogging, flashing, distracting real-estate advertising that is the Trusted Reviews website these days and just leaves the review. Beautiful. It's a nice browser but just way too slow to render pages.


June 9, 2010, 6:58 pm

if it still can't sort bookmarks, then no...


June 10, 2010, 12:10 am

How is Opera's market share well below 1% when both Net Applications and StatCounter say that it is well passed 2%?


June 11, 2010, 2:35 am

Have been using Safari 5 now for 24 hours. I am blown away by the speed. It is noticeably quicker than Chrome which I find extraordinary. All on Win 7 64bit

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