Tuesday, June 8

Safari 5. A smackdown to Google?

Safari 5, released yesterday from Apple, introduced many new things (also patched a bunch of Security vulnerabilities as well, I'll touch on those in a second).  One of the things introduced could be interpreted as a smackdown to Google.

I'll make another list:

1)  Faster Javascript Engine


Safari uses a Javascript Engine named "Nitro".  Apple claims that it runs 30% faster than Safari 4, 3% faster than Chrome, and over 2x as fast as Firefox.  I don't know what the degree for error is in those percentage numbers, but that 3% sounds mighty close to me.

2) DNS Prefetching and improved caching


DNS Prefetching works like this.. when you go to a webpage, or you search for something, Safari uses DNS prefetching to look up all the URL's that are found through hyperlinks on a given webpage. I think Chrome has been doing this for awhile, and I know Firefox has been doing it for years, so it's good to Safari doing this as well.  Every little bit helps when it comes to the web I guess.

3) Bing


Apple added the Bing search engine in addition to Google and Yahoo! that were already in the browser.  I've only used Bing a couple times when it first came out, thought it was inferior and stuck with Google.  However, since it's a choice now in the search bar of the Safari Browser (I switch back and forth between Safari and Google Chrome) I'll give Bing a shot.  We'll see.

4) Safari Extensions


Apple has had extensibility in Safari for a couple versions now, so it seems the only thing that is new about it is that they are pushing it hard now.  Already there are a bunch of extensions coming out, so we'll see how far this goes.

5) Smarter Address Field


Sure.  Not really a big deal, but it does better suggestions using your history than it used to.

6) Location Services


It's been in Chrome for awhile now, so glad to see it's in Safari finally, but the browser can now be aware of your location.  For a good example of how this works, go to http://maps.google.com with either Safari or Chrome, and hit this button (the blue one):



That's the location button, the browser should use CoreLocation and be able to find you.

7) Better Html5 support


Hooray.  But every browser should be doing this.

8) Full-screen view and Closed Captions for html5 video


Good. Also glad when computers can help out in Assistive ways (like Closed Captioning)

9) and Finally, Safari Reader


This is the thing I think is the smackdown to Google.  Reader is kinda like a "cleanup" for webpages.  Kinda like Readability is, I blogged about that awhile back as well.  So, let me give you an example, I'll just browse to TUAW.com right quick:



Ad, Ad, Ad, header, links, annoying, annoying...

Now, in the url bar you'll see a button that says "Reader":



When you hit that button, everything is stripped away from the page, and you only get the article:



Nice.  Very nice.  Then, if you mouse over it, you get these options:



Zoom, (and it remembers how big you want your text too!), Email (just the "Reader"-ized version of the webpage), Print, and close.

Why do I say this screws Google?  How does Google make money?  Ads.

This removes Ads.

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