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Living with: Safari

06/24, 8:38am

Twelve years with Apple's browser

The great thing about these Living With articles –– and in fact the specific reason we do them –– is that we get to bring the real-world results of truly using software or hardware for a long time. As thorough as MacNN is with reviewing new releases, that's like stress-testing a relationship in its infancy compared to moving in with someone. Living with them, long term, in fact.


Safari, Chrome top mobile browsers worldwide, Chrome king of desktop

04/22, 12:40pm

Apple's default browser remains tops in mobile, captures 10 percent of US desktop

A new study by analytics firm StatCounter has shown that Chrome and Safari are virtually neck-and-neck as the top mobile browsers, but that Safari was the clear winner in both North America and Europe. In particular, in the US Safari holds a 55 percent share of mobile browser use, with Chrome at 30 percent and generic Android browsers with 9.5 percent. In addition to just edging out Safari worldwide to be the top mobile browser, Chrome is also the dominant desktop browser worldwide, with a 52.6 percent share.


Briefly: Oyster for web, mobile web browsers, IFTTT's Square channel

07/24, 12:41pm

E-book subscription service Oyster launches web and mobile web reader

Oyster, an e-book subscription service, has announced its launch of new web and mobile web readers. The expansion marks its second new platform in the past month (with the first launch specifically for Android users in June). Pages in the web reader will scroll smoothly from top to bottom, with five reader themes to select from. Oyster is partnered with over 1,600 publishers, and offers access to a diverse library for $10 per month.


Browser test puts Safari for Mac, Firefox for Windows on top

01/06, 5:35pm

Safari edges out Chrome, Firefox likewise on Win

The team at Toms Hardware have run their latest head-to-head test of web browsers. All the leading browsers for the Mac and PC platforms were tested and included Opera, Firefox, Safari, IE 9 and Chrome. Coming out on top for the Mac platform was Apples own Safari browser, while Mozillas Firefox is currently the fastest browser available on the Windows platform.


Opera Mini, Mobile get data use tracking

11/02, 6:35pm

Browsers updated for variety of platforms

Opera has announced that its Mini and Mobile browsers have been updated on all platforms, including Android, iOS, S60, J2ME, BlackBerry, S60 and MeeGo. A data usage view is the primary new feature available on all devices, enabling users to take a quick look at how much data the browser has used and a comparison between the original page sizes and the savings due to Opera's compression technology.


Browser showdown shows OS X browsers catching up

08/31, 4:55am

Browsers vary wildly on different platforms

Noted Windows review site Tom's Hardware recently reviewed the latest versions of some of leading web browsers running on Mac OS X and Windows 7 and found that, overall, Mac browsers -- particularly the one judged the best overall, Safari (v5.1) -- were catching up and in a few cases exceeding the Windows browsers, particularly with page load times, Flash, HTML5 and WebGL. Google's Chrome was judged the best overall for Windows and a stiff competitor on OS X as well.


WebGL standard riddled with security vulnerabilities?

05/10, 3:25pm

Standard blasted by security researchers

Security research firm Context has issued a report criticizing WebGL, the 3D graphics standard used in popular browsers such as Firefox, Chrome and Safari. The report points to several serious vulnerabilities that are said to leave systems open to attacks. Experimental exploits reportedly used malicious code to gain access to a computer's core operating system.


Microsoft makes odd claim to IE9 as greenest browser

03/29, 10:30pm

Browsers compared based on power consumption

Microsoft has staked an interesting claim regarding Internet Explorer 9, essentially labeling it the greenest browser. In an IEBlog post, the company graphed results from power consumption tests using IE9, Chrome 10, Firefox 4, Opera 11 and Safari 5. The first three browsers showed close numbers on an idle system, however IE9 achieved the lowest wattage when visiting a news site and running HTML5 applications.


Internet Explorer leads early HTML5 compliance tests

11/02, 5:40pm

Tests limited to few elements

The Worldwide Web Consortium (W3C) has published results from its first set of HTML5 compliance tests, which were topped by the latest Internet Explorer 9 beta. Microsoft's browser was found to adhere to a limited set of features more closely than Firefox 4 beta 6, Chrome 7, Opera 10.6, and Apple's Safari 5 browsers.


Mozilla: No plans to build Firefox browser for the iPhone

09/28, 8:30pm

Firefox Home to remain primary iOS utility

Mozilla has outlined its future plans for Firefox Home, the App Store utility that serves as a bridge between the desktop Firefox experience and iOS browsers. Although the app has been periodically updated with additional features from the desktop software, the company claims it is not working to make mobile Firefox browser for the iPhone.


WebKit2 mimics Chrome's split-process framework

04/08, 11:10pm

System "sandboxes" tabs for stability, security

The team behind WebKit, the layout engine utilized by browsers such as Safari, has published an outline of the upcoming WebKit2 build, which will feature a new split-process model. The framework has been compared to the system used by Google's Chrome browser. Web content such as JavaScript, HTML, or layout is separated into separate processes.


Safari slips behind Chrome in browser usage

12/15, 1:15pm

Figures linked to Mac, Linux Chrome betas

Usage of Google's Chrome web browser surpassed that of Apple's Safari for the first time last week, says tracking firm Net Applications. The company monitors roughly 160 million visitors to 40,000 sites, and notes that Chrome users represented 4.4 percent of the market between December 6th and the 12th. The figure was a growth of 0.4 percent over the month of November, and beat out Safari's 4.37 percent share.


Early Chrome Mac extensions due by December 12th

12/10, 1:05pm

No beta extensions yet, says Google

An early implementation of extensions for the Mac version of Chrome should return by the end of the week, says Google. While extensions were fully enabled on Tuesday for Windows users, the technology has remained in a primitive form on Macs. The first Mac support is being provided exclusively through the dev channel versions of the browser, not the public beta.


First Look: Google's Chrome browser for Mac

12/08, 5:55pm

Open-source browser takes on Firefox, Safari

Google has finally released a beta version of its Chrome browser for the Mac platform, following a year of availability for Windows users. The open source software is designed to compete with other popular browsers such as Safari and Firefox. The latest release offers many of the same features as the Windows version, although the early Mac beta still lacks several capabilities.


Google launches beta Chrome for Mac

12/08, 11:40am

Mac software long in development

Google has finally released the Mac beta of Chrome, which follows long after the original Windows beta, released in September 2008. As with Safari, Chrome runs on a WebKit engine claimed to quickly and accurately render pages. The Google software differs in design, pushing tabs to the top of the browser, while using an "Omnibox" that combines search and URL fields into a single bar.


Mac Chrome beta coming in early December

11/13, 9:30am

Browser long missing from Mac platform

Google will finally release a public Mac beta of Chrome in early December, says a product manager for the browser, Neil Baum. A Google spokesman has meanwhile declined to offer a specific date, but does note that Baum's timeframe is consistent with promises to release beta software before the end of the year. Developer channel versions have been available since June, but are not recommended for most people due to stability problems.


Safari 4.0.4 boosts performance, stability

11/11, 5:05pm

Also addresses security holes

Apple has released Safari 4.0.4, a minor update to the Mac and Windows web browser. The patch makes relatively few changes, but does boost the performance of JavaScript, as well as Full History Searches in the case of a "large number" of items. Stability fixes have been implemented for the search field and Yahoo! Mail.


First Camino 2 release candidate goes online

10/30, 11:10am

Neglected browser approaches major update

Mozilla has posted a first release candidate for Camino 2.0, the next major edition of the company's Mac-focused web browser. RC1 makes relatively few changes compared to previous betas, but it does enable new AppleScript abilities, improved Full Keyboard Access support and per-site whitelisting or blacklisting of Flash. More significant may be an upgrade to the Gecko 1.9.0 engine, which includes bugfixes, better treatment of plug-ins and greater standards support, for instance through the use of JavaScript 1.8.


Firefox 3.5.4 closes 16 vulnerabilities

10/28, 11:00am

Cuts off theoretical attacks

Mozilla has released Firefox 3.5.4, a minor but still significant update to its multi-platform web browser. The patch fixes 16 vulnerabilities, 11 of which are said to be critical. Among these are problems with third-party media libraries, the core and JavaScript engines, web worker calls, the GIF color map parser and the string-to-number converter.


Safari given prominent position in European Windows?

10/16, 1:00pm

Draws fire from Mozilla designer

Apple's Safari browser may occupy too central position in upcoming European versions of Windows, critics say. Users should soon be presented with a special browser ballot, explaining what web browsers are, and more crucially offering a choice of apps beyond Internet Explorer. The feature comes as a result of pressure from the European Commission, which has accused Microsoft of hampering competition by bundling IE with Windows, forcing developers to design for it and potentially limit their innovation.


Mac version of Chrome due before 2010

10/09, 12:20pm

Timeframe suggests accelerated development

The Mac version of Chrome should be released before Christmas this year, suggests Google CEO Eric Schmidt. The executive made the revelation at a New York press conference, in the middle of answering a question about the browser's overall marketshare. Chrome's share has been disparaged by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who recently called the browser "a rounding error." Microsoft's Internet Explorer remains the dominant web browser worldwide.


Future Firefox updates to check for outdated plug-ins

09/07, 10:30am

May close some common vulnerabilities

Beginning with two Tuesday updates, all future iterations of Mozilla's Firefox browser will check for at least some outdated plug-ins, the company has announced. Firefox 3.5.3 and 3.0.14 will both scan for the latest version of Flash, prompting users to visit a link where an updated plug-in can be downloaded. "For now, our focus is on the Adobe Flash Player both because of its popularity and because some studies have shown that as many as 80 percent of users currently have an out-of-date version," says Firefox security team member Johnathan Nightingale.


Mozilla posts first alpha of Firefox 3.6

08/10, 10:10am

Firefox 3.6 alpha debuts

Mozilla has published the first alpha preview of Firefox 3.6. The upcoming release is codenamed Namoroka, and in its completed form should represent an intermediate step towards Firefox 3.7, a major browser upgrade expected sometime in 2010. The v3.6 alpha nevertheless includes several important changes, such as a new Gecko rendering engine, upgraded to v1.9.2.


Firefox 3.5.2 fixes ICC profiles, security issues

08/05, 1:25pm

Firefox 3.5.2 update

Mozilla has released Firefox 3.5.2, updating its multi-platform web browser. A key fix in the release aids photographers, illustrators and other graphics professionals, by now properly rendering images with ICC profiles on all monitors. Such profiles are used to define color spaces, ensuring that the colors depicted on a display are those intended.


Safari 4.0.2 stabilizes "Nitro" JavaScript engine

07/08, 4:45pm

Safari 4.0.2 update

Apple has posted the v4.0.2 update to Safari, its Mac and Windows web browser. The patch implements a relative handful of changes, primarily upgrading the Nitro engine to include new security and compatibility fixes. Nitro is responsible for JavaScript rendering, and is thus linked with many speed improvements over Safari 3.


Mozilla prepares clean-up patch for Firefox 3.5

07/03, 9:55am

Post-Firefox 3.5 patch

Having just released Firefox 3.5 on Tuesday, Mozilla is already developing a minor troubleshooting update. The company says it expects Firefox 3.5.1 to be released in mid-to-late July, fixing three bugs and "topcrashes," referring to the most common crashes experienced by users. "[The] goal of this release should be a quick turnaround that fixes topcrashes and bugs we almost held ship for," a note states.


FireFox 3.5 has hidden multi-touch gesture for tabs?

07/01, 9:20pm

FireFox hidden gestures

MacMagazine has released a tutorial on how to enable multi-touch gestures in Firefox 3.5. The gestures allow users to alternate tabs via twisting. By opening a new window or tab in FireFox and typing about:config into the address bar, users can gain access to a filter list; in some cases a warning message may pop-up when loading the filter list. Users then search for browser.gesture within the filter search bar, in order to get a full list of settings which consists of controls and gestures.


Apple claims 11 million downloads of Safari 4

06/12, 10:25am

11M Safari 4 downloads

Over 11 million copies of the final version of Safari 4 have been downloaded in a space of three days, Apple claims. The software became available for Macs and PCs on Monday, following Apple's WWDC keynote. Prior to the keynote, a beta version of the web browser had been available since February. It is not known how many downloads of the beta were recorded.


Apple announces official Safari 4 release

06/08, 2:00pm

Safari 4 official release

Apple today announced the official release of Safari 4. A public beta version of the web browser has been available for several months, and introduced the Top Sites feature, along with a slightly modified interface. The official release has refined problems users reported with the beta, and also includes several new enhancements. Safari 4 is one of the few browsers to score 100/100 on the Acid test, and Apple also claims to have upped the browser's Javascript performance by 50 percent, arguing that Safari 4 is now 7.8 times faster than Internet Explorer 8.


Early Mac build of Google Chrome goes online

06/05, 11:30am

Early Chrome for Mac build

Google has begun distributing a very early build of Chrome for the Mac. The company warns that the browser -- still in developer channels -- remains very unstable, and may exhibit behaviors such as crashes. The software is moreover missing many basic features, such as the ability to print, change privacy settings or even load Flash videos from sites like YouTube.


Firefox 3.0.10 update remedies stability

04/28, 3:30pm

Firefox 3.0.10 update

Only days after the release of v3.0.9, Mozilla has posted a another update for Firefox, bringing the web browser to v3.0.10. The update is mainly intended to fix a "major stability issue," but also fixes a security flaw related to the @nsTextFrame::ClearTextRun() command. It is available as a 1.5MB download through the Firefox auto-updater, or else from the Mozilla website.


Firefox 3.0.9 fixes missing cookies, attachments

04/23, 11:15am

Firefox 3.0.9 update

Mozilla has posted the v3.0.9 update to Firefox, its multi-platform web browser. The patch is mainly said to address "several" security and stability problems. Also fixed though is a recurring problem with database corruption, which would previously prevent Firefox from accessing stored cookies.


CoolIris enhances free media viewer plugin

04/13, 7:10pm

CoolIris updates plugin

CoolIris has updated its plug-in that is designed to improve the way web browsers display pictures, video and other digital content. The new version offers enhanced support for Facebook galleries, new ease-of-use improvements and options to add metadata to photos and videos. For the first time, users can also display images stored on their hard drives.


Planned Firefox 3.1 update to become 3.5

03/10, 10:25am

Firefox 3.1 becomes 3.5

The next major update for Firefox, v3.1, will instead become v3.5, says Mozilla's director for the browser, Mike Beltzner. Developers have allegedly complained that the v3.1 designation does not reflect the number of changes in the browser, which is already at v3.0.7 and yet missing components key to the former v3.1. Central is the addition of TraceMonkey, an engine which allows native code compilation within Mozilla's JavaScript technology.


Stainless 0.5 brings parallel logins to browsers

03/05, 10:50am

Stainless 0.5 browser

Mesa Dynamics has released what it calls a "significant" update to its proprietary web browser, Stainless. The app is now being developed as a full product rather than a technology demo, and predominantly features separate processes for each tab, as in Google's Chrome software. The scheme can dramatically increase speed and memory efficiency while browsing, as well as stability.


Apple introduces public beta of Safari 4

02/24, 9:45am

Apple posts Safari 4 beta

Apple has released a public beta version of Safari 4, its next web browser. The software introduces a number of new features, most notably the Nitro engine, which is claimed to run JavaScript functions 4.2 times faster Safari 3. The browser additionally incorporates HTML 5 support, which allows offline storage of web application data, and CSS 3 styles, which can incorporate gradients, reflections and precision masks.


User-compiled Chrome for Mac makes early debut

02/16, 4:05pm

Custom Chrome for Mac

A primitive Mac version of Google's Chrome browser has been compiled by an independent coder and released to the public. The build, number 9780, is actually based on the development Chromium version of the Mac browser, which is still in a early state and may not produce a formal Mac version of Chrome until as late as June. The custom build is nevertheless said to add working links, and be less than 50ms slower than a recent WebKit nightly build.


Mac version of Chrome still in early phases

02/13, 12:25pm

Mac Chrome in early phases

The Mac version of Google's Chrome web browser continues to make progress, but at a slow speed, one of its developers hints. Work during the past couple of months is said to have mostly revolved around basic layout tests and WebKit compatibility, and only recently progressed to developing the interface. Links remain non-functional, and renderers are said to regularly crash.


Mozilla joins in EU action against Microsoft

02/09, 1:10pm

Mozilla joins EU vs. MS

Mozilla is throwing its support behind a European Commission ruling on bundling Microsoft's Internet Explorer with Windows, according to the company's CEO. Microsoft received a Statement of Objection from the Commission last month, accusing it of violating European competition laws. The action was initially sparked by a complaint from Opera, which produces third-party web browsers. Mozilla itself develops the Firefox browser.


Custom build optimizes Firefox 3.1 for Intel

02/05, 3:40pm

Firefox 3.1 optimization

Mac owners searching for a faster version of Firefox may be able to turn to a custom-developed build, an independent coder claims. While the current official build of the web browser is v3.0.6, Mozilla is presently seeding a beta of v3.1, sometimes known as Shiretoko. The Mac beta is said to be unoptimized for Intel processors however, which has led to Chris Latko's creation of a custom version under open-source rules.


Firefox 3.0.6 update fixes crash, security flaws

02/05, 10:10am

Firefox 3.0.6 update

Mozilla has released Firefox 3.0.6, an update to its popular web browser. The company claims to have resolved several security issues, as well as stability problems which triggered crashes. Some security fixes include preventing people from changing a form input control's type during the restoration of a closed tab, which could be used in altering the input type to steal the content of a users local file. Also blocked is a Chrome XBL method that could be used with window.eval to execute JavaScript.


'Alternative' iPhone browsers dubious?

01/27, 3:10pm

Alternate iPhone browsers

Recently-introduced "alternative" browsers for the iPhone are mostly weak, and not truly separate from Safari, reports allege. Though Incognito
 is said to be useful for its ability to privatize browsing information, it along with browsers like Squeaky, WebMate
 and Shaking Web
 are said to be simple extensions of Safari, with one or two unique features sometimes coming at the expense of core aspects like bookmarks. The only major free title, Edge Browser, is in fact said to lack forward and back buttons.


Apple greenlights third-party iPhone browsers

01/14, 9:25am

3rd-party iPhone browsers

A slate of new third-party web browsers has unexpectedly appeared at the App Store, reports indicate. The browsers were all published within a short space of time, and include titles such as the 99-cent WebMate, which queues up multiple links without switching to them, and the $1.99 Incognito, which deliberately omits any history tracking. Apple has not made any special notice of the software's existence.


Safari RSS vulnerability affects Mac, Windows users

01/13, 10:10am

Safari RSS vulnerability

A vulnerability in both the Mac and Windows versions of Safari may present serious privacy concerns, says coder Brian Mastenbrook. The problem, said to have been confirmed by Apple, is specifically related to the application's built-in RSS reader, which may be exploitable to read the contents of a person's hard drive. The exploit is triggerable by visiting a malicious website, and could in theory allow access to items like e-mail and passwords.


Firefox, Chrome, Safari rise in browser share

01/02, 11:45am

Safari use rises in Dec.

Minority browsers grew in popularity again during the month of December, according to tracking figures from Net Applications. Marketshare for Mozilla's Firefox reached 21.34 percent, up from 20.78 percent in November; Apple's Safari jumped from 7.13 to 7.93 percent, and Google's new, Windows-only Chrome browser shifted from 0.83 to 1.04 percent. This marks the first time the software has been over the 1 percent mark.


iPhone browser use rises 35.7 percent Christmas week

12/30, 2:25pm

iPhone use during Xmas

Adding to recent iPod figures, new data suggests that the iPhone sold well throughout the Christmas shopping season as well. During the week of Christmas, iPhone browser share is said to have risen 35.7 percent over the week before, reaching 0.57 percent of all browser use. This figure is also more than 50 percent higher than the average iPhone share in November, which was 0.37 percent.


Highbrow browser management tool released

12/15, 4:55pm

Highbrow for Mac

Helium Foot Software has announced Highbrow, a browser management utility for Macs. Allowing users to switch between web browsers at a whim, the program presents three main options: choosing a preferred browser, the most recently-opened one, or manual selection. Highbrow provides a small menu on the Menu Bar that enables users to simply click on a browser of choice and surf the web, without having to adjust preferences in an individual browser.


New Firefox 3.1 beta adds Mac multi-touch support

12/10, 3:50pm

Firefox 3.1 B2 adds touch

A newer beta version of Firefox adds multi-touch support, Mozilla has announced. For owners of MacBooks with multi-touch trackpads -- new and old -- Firefox 3.1 beta 2 includes a variety of supported gestures, mainly swipes. Swiping left and right with three fingers will move forward and backward through a browser's history, while swiping up and down will jump to the beginning or end of a page.


App store rules prohibit Opera Mini for iPhone

10/30, 4:35pm

No Opera Mini for iPhone

iPhone owners should not expect to see the Opera web browser on the device anytime soon, says Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, CEO of the company. Von Tetzschner notes that while engineers have developed a version of Opera Mini for iPhones, Apple is blocking release through the App Store, due its competition with the built-in Safari browser. Opera Mini is used frequently on other smartphones, and speeds up mobile browsing by delivering stripped-down versions of websites.


Flock 2.0 brings in MySpace, media RSS feeds

10/15, 10:10am

Flock 2.0 browser released

The developers of Flock have announced v2.0 of the browser, which is launching today across multiple platforms. Flock is oriented towards social networking sites, and thus has built-in functions for sites such as Digg, Flickr and Twitter. The second edition adds support for MySpace through the MySpace Data Availability platform, which lets users track contacts via the People Sidebar, and browse or share photos, links and videos.



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