updated 02:07 am EDT, Fri September 6, 2013
OS X Mavericks will include Safari 7, but improvements being passed down
While the forthcoming release of OS X Mavericks (10.9) will include a new version of Safari, many of the improvements of that unreleased update are making their way into an incremental update primarily aimed at Mountain Lion users. Safari 6.1 Seed 7, which we first reported on Tuesday, is compatible with both Lion and Mountain Lion, but several features of the update are reserved for Mountain Lion only. These included Shared Links, continuous reading in the Reading List and Shared Links, easy retweet of Shared Links, iCloud Tabs autocomplete and more.
In the release notes for Safari 6.1 Seed 7, Apple asks developers of Safari extensions to test them thoroughly against the release. The release includes both the new build of Safari 6.1 as well as new builds of WebKit and Web Inspector.
For Mountain Lion, Shared Links will be available from the sidebar, showing the user links that have been shared on Twitter and Linked In by friends, which are clickable or retweetable directly from within Safari. The Continuous Reading feature lets users scroll directly onto the next Shared Link or item in the Reading List without stopping.
Typing in the Smart Search field shows Mountain Lion users related pages available in iCloud's synced tabs, making it easier for users to resume reading a page they left on another device. In addition, Russian users will find than Yandex has been added as an option for the built-in search engine.
The updated WebKit offers better text and layout; CSS Regions and Exclusions; "sticky" positioning; more desktop-like typography control over elements like kerning, ligatures, widow and orphan support and CSS quotation marks; support for the new Web Speech API and other accessibility improvements; Hi-DPI for image-set functions; HTTP strict transport security, and Safari will now support the page visibility API. Likewise, the Web Inspector now has a new look with a streamlined toolbar, a redesigned Activity Viewer, new Styles and Layers sidebars, and support for pseudo-states, Source Maps, the ability to dock the inspector to the right and timeline filtering among other changes and debugging improvements.
Apple has not indicated when Safari 6.1 might be released, but it is expected to debut near or on the date that the company releases OS X Mavericks, sometime later this year. Despite the lack of specifics on release dates, the OS X upgrade is expected sooner rather than later, alongside Haswell-equipped MacBook Pros and updated iMacs.