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Safari 5 rumored for WWDC with optional Bing, more HTML5

updated 10:50 am EDT, Sat June 5, 2010

Safari 5 would help Apple regain browser edge

A potentially significant rumor has Apple launching Safari 5 as soon as WWDC with new additions intended to beat Google. The browser would allegedly have an option for Bing alongside Google and Yahoo, reflecting a last-minute deal with Microsoft. Apple would also bolster its HTML5 advocacy by supporting many more features, including geolocation, draggable items and video with closed-captioning and full-screen modes.

Several extra conspicuous updates would be in store, according to the release notes MacGeneration claimed to have. A new Reader feature would turn articles into a single, "clutter-free" page; it would also borrow elements from the address bars in Chrome and Firefox with awareness of bookmarks and history in the address bar. New browser windows would finally have the option of opening as new tabs by default.

Speed will continue to be a focus, especially for Windows. Both Mac and Windows systems would get 25 percent faster JavaScript rendering and offset some of Chrome 5's speedups. Microsoft's platform would get new hardware acceleration, however, and would render many more visually intensive effects faster than before. The browser should cache more aggressively and would prefetch DNS info to save time visiting linked pages.

No mention is made of browser extensions, although this was largely speculation from the outset. WebKit 2 is likewise unmentioned. However, the source mentioned that there were "five other" interesting pieces of news that weren't present and could be saved for the final release.

While unconfirmed, the news was given credence by a simultaneous leak of release notes for Mac OS X 10.6.4, which could launch at the same time. It would mostly address unresponsiveness in the keyboard or trackpad, opening certain Adobe CS3 apps, copying or modifying files on Samba servers, editing photos in Aperture or iPhoto in full-screen and playing DVDs with certain levels of deinterlacing.

Apple has said it would focus primarily on its handheld devices at WWDC next week but, if true, would be placing a strong emphasis on the web at the developer event as well. Apple has continued to gain share but at a much slower rate than Chrome, which is rapidly becoming one of the closest challengers to Firefox. Google's rapid update schedule has at times put its speed and feature set ahead of Apple and Mozilla; Safari 5 would come just a year after 4 and would significantly accelerate its development.

by MacNN Staff



  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The full-screen HTML5 video feature is much-appreciated. Overall, this is looking like a great update to Safari. I like the integration of the 'Readability'-type Safari Reader mode, which is certainly a nice feature to have, especially on the iPhone. The only thing glaringly missing at this point, as noted in the article, is a browser extensions API.

  1. rtamesis

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Christmas is early this year!

  1. hayesk

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Safari 5 is the first believable rumour I've heard, aside from new iPhone and more iPhoneOS 4 features.

    I've heard everything from new Mac Pros, 10.7, and free iPhones to all attendees (that's why the price is higher this year, they say).

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    as an option, ok, i'll never choose it, but ok. the day they make it the default it the day i leave safari behind.

  1. kdogg73

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I'm down with Bing.

  1. 64stang06

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Ok, is that just for Windows Safari? Because on my machine with 10.6.3 and Safari 4.0.5, I don't even have an option to choose from Google or Yahoo as for the default search engine.

  1. Okonomiyaki

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I agree with kdogg

    Down with Bing!

    Also, when will we get handwriting recognition?

  1. driven

    Joined: Dec 1969


    default causes you to switch?


    is it THAT hard to change the default to something that you like? Who leaves the browser on the default page anyway?

    Personally I think that Microsoft is on the balls of it's arse. If it can make some inroads against the Google machine with Bing then I'm all for it. (Maybe some day Yahoo will wake up and do something interesting.)

  1. Salsa

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Safari Reader

    That reader feature would be great to have for HTML messages in Mail on the iPhone. Many of those messages have a tiny font that I have to zoom in on and then scroll endlessly to read each line.

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