Last week, Apple has released the new version of their browser Safari to all operating systems – Safari 3 final version was included into the 0s X 10.4.11 update for Tiger users, and Safari 3.04 for Windows users. It was quite an important update remembering that a couple of weeks ago, with the release of the Leopard, Apple has launched the 3rd version of Safari for the OS X users who has upgraded their system. The new Safari has brought some restyling to the user interface – now it has the unified look and feel of the Leopard operating System. Also it finally includes (after 4 years of waiting) the possibility of styling the form controls with a css. This is a major improvement for GUI development, i believe every web developer went nuts with Safari, because of not being to style the controls.
This is a major upgrade for all systems. On windows a new beta version is much faster then the previous version. Not only the so called “cold start” but also the navigation, loading times and all the rest appears to be quite faster then before.
The list of the recent improvements to WebKit – on which Safari is based is quite impressive – it includes stability and speed improvements, improvements to the Enhanced Rich Text Editing: it includes TinyMCE and FCKEditor (think visual editors for Drupal and WordPress), SVG (after Opera and Firefox one more player coming to this market, IE team – are you still sleeping ?), XPath and XML improvements (think XMLHttpRequest and Ajax).
OS X safari version include some development tools, which must be enabled by hand (do they continue to be in alpha stage?)
There are some bugs though to work on the Windows version – thats why it is still a beta, i believe. I have managed to see Safari loosing its look and feel and some of the windows control buttons appearing (quite an unpleasant change).
Apple is taking quite serious this Safari offensive, and if they will spend just a little more time implementing Web Developer tools and stabilizing the Windows version, i believe the time when some users will start switching to Safari.