Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced an Apple-built Web browser, dubbed
Safari, during his Macworld Conference & Expo keynote today. Dubbed as the “turbo browser for Mac OS X,” it’s the first major new browser in five years and “it’s sweet,” Jobs said.
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Safari is designed to be the fastest Web browser on the Mac. Jobs said was up to three times faster than what most people use, including Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, and, yes, Chimera. Besides speed, Jobs said Apple wanted to create their own Web browser because they wanted to innovate.
“We think there’s a lot of innovation left in browsers, and we wanted to do the best browser ever,” Jobs said.
He added that it also incorporated Google into the tool bar, a minimal user interface (“so Web page content can take center stage”), bookmarks innovations, and Address Book integration. Safari even has a button that users can click to report Web sites that don’t work well with it.
“There are over 10 million Web sites out there, and we haven’t had a chance to test each one,” Jobs joked.
Safari, which requires Mac OS X 10.2 (“Jaguar”) is based on an open source HTML rendering engine. Apple started with an open source base over a year ago and has made some major improvements, Jobs said. Apple will post the improvements to the rendering engine online.
“Some people have problems with open source, but we think it’s great,” Jobs said.
The Safari public beta is available immediately for free download. It requires Mac OS X 10.2, but is optimized for Mac OS X 10.2.3. The final version of Safari will be made available later this year.